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The Greensboro Review - Spring 2004

  • Issue Number: Number 75
  • Published Date: Spring 2004

This spring issue of The Greensboro Review contains two short stories that are simply breathtaking: Adam Berlin’s “The Karaoke Bet” and Matt Valentine’s “Zohra.” Berlin’s piece, in its portrayal of a soulless, lustful bookie is worth close study by any aspiring short story writer, so perfect is its characterization, voice, plotting, and overall thematic significance. After betting against another man’s wife in a karaoke contest, with the trophy to be the man’s Harvard diploma, the bookie fantasizes: “On nights when I came home drunk, with cash in my pocket from my cash business, with memories of hands getting broken, and memories of empty lap dances, I’d look at the diploma and read the elaborate script . . . and I’d pretend I’d taken another road until I fell asleep.” Matt Valentine’s “Zohra” is an acute tale of three American tourists in Morocco (Paul Bowles terrain revisited), and pointedly captures the disorientations of travel, while managing to construct a larger metaphorical architecture. Also notable among the eight short fictions offered is Diana Sprechler’s “Close to Lebanon,” about a confused young Jewish woman living in Boston, stymied at every attempt to escape her existential befuddlement. The entire other half of this issue is devoted to poetry. [The Greensboro Review, English Dept., 134 McIver Building, UNCG, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170. E-mail: . Single issue $5.] - MC

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Review Posted on April 30, 2004

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