Santa Monica Review – Fall 2006
Volume 18 Number 2
An exceptional collection as is typical of this attractively presented journal.
An exceptional collection as is typical of this attractively presented journal. From Peter LaSalle’s delightful “Rimbaud Walking” – “He [Rimbaud] would be slowed down, because there was that ‘violent snowstorm’ approaching, and I could certainly catch him at long last.” – shades of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but much shorter, of course, since the narrator’s son is only seven – to the heart-breaking “Life After Death” by Vicki Forman, this issue of the Santa Monica Review contains twelve excellent short stories. What I miss in this publication is an editorial defining the criteria – other than a shared trait of extraordinary focus – that resulted in these choices. For example, Colin Dickey’s exploration of an Iraq War veteran’s last days in the high desert near Twentynine Palms, California. The story is told through the eyes of an elderly widow, who has taken him in as a boarder, and contains this astonishing line: “[. . .] Faye knows it is not an accident but the living dead on board, who so desperately crave the earth and seek it always.” Does this insight give her the right to take things into her own hands? I can’t shake the feeling the ending of this story is not what I wanted it to be, nor the true ending, but shocking nevertheless. I’m looking forward to the next issue. [www.smc.edu/sm_review]