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Post Road - Fall 2005

  • Published Date: 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

The newest issue of Post Road is certainly ambitious, including not just fiction and poetry but also essays, book recommendations, a one-act play, photography, an interview, and even an index of all the characters in John Cheever's short fiction. Highlights include Dan Pope's story "Drive-In," about a group of teenagers going to see a porno film at a drive-in, and Ralph McGinnis's essay, "The Omission of Comics," which makes a strong case for the inclusion of comics as modern art and also for their place in history as strong influences on Dadaism and Surrealism. Elsewhere, Elizabeth Knapp's poem "Indelible" remarks powerfully on the aftereffects of pain and grief, while Steve Almond reflects on our "death fetish," suggesting that shows like C.S.I. with their clear narratives of death are filling a vacuum left by our disconnect from the casualties of 9/11 and the war in Iraq. Despite the strengths of this issue, the content finally breaks down in the Recommendation sections. There are fourteen recommendations, including plugs for Cheever, Vladimir Nabakov, and James Baldwin. There's nothing wrong with drawing attention to the classics, but I would have preferred the space to have gone to another story or essay, not to mention whatever might have been published by leaving out the twenty page index of Cheever's characters. This is less a reflection of the quality of the recommendations themselves and more a compliment of the rest of the magazine. The writing in Post Road is so good that I simply hate having missed out on whatever other original works might have been included instead. [www.postroadmag.com] — Matt Bell

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Review Posted on May 31, 2006
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