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Book Reviews by Title - D (75)

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Meg Pokrass
  • Date Published January 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-935708-17-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 171pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Tessa Mellas
Meg Pokrass’s collection Damn Sure Right packs in a whopping eighty-eight stories. Short-shorts. Flash fiction. Whatever you call them, Meg Pokrass is their queen. She’s made a career out of flash fiction. She teaches flash fiction workshops nationally and has published over a hundred pieces in journals. In a market that goads short story writers to crank out novels, she’s firm in her commitment to keep it tight. But while most of us literature lovers have enjoyed a brilliant short-short in our time, few of us have read a whole book of them or even know how.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Perry Glasser
  • Date Published November 2009
  • ISBN-13 978-1-886157-69-9
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 192pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Alex Myers
This volume, which won the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize, features six pieces that bring the realities of human nature into focus. It is the realities, not the dramatics, that Glasser writes about. His stories have familiar surroundings, familiar people, and are written in prose that is a flowing, melodious tune – one you could hum.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Wendy Videlock.
  • Date Published January 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-1927409091
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 96pp
  • Price $19.95
  • Review by Theresé Samson Wenham
Even from the title, you know you’re getting into something unusual. Wendy Videlock’s The Dark Gnu and Other Poems is a farcical combination of rules and shenanigans, truths and nonsense, stories and impossibilities. These contrasts bounce against each other in the language and poems, and we are given an unexpected experience in contemporary poetry. Videlock acknowledges influences from Mother Goose, Strega Nona, and Mnemosyne, so perhaps we should expect something for children, but these poems, although delightful in that way, are not for children alone. We find blue truths for our adult selves, too.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Colin Fleming
  • Date Published June 2013
  • ISBN-13 9781937402563
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 162pp
  • Price $16.00
  • Review by Lydia Pyne
Flesh-eating hagfish, blue bejeweled garages, animated art, and a moveable geography. Dark March: Stories for When the Rest of the World is Asleep is filled with stories where sandspits are sentient, seagulls are cutthroat, and character conscientiousness is invariably fleeting. These hyperbole-infused short stories infuse ordinary settings with magic and imagination—they give just enough detail to be anchored in a possible universe but contain enough impossibility to buoy the characters above the predictable. Colin Fleming’s collection is pithy and witty, and manages to walk an interesting line between absurd existentialism, surrealist fantasy, and magical realism.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Juan Gelman
  • Translated From Spanish
  • by Hardie St. Martin
  • Date Published November 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-1934824689
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 187pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Lydia Pyne
Dark Times Filled with Light is a brilliant collection of poems, spanning four decades, by Argentinean poet Juan Gelman. Virtually unknown to English-speaking literary audiences, Gelman is the recipient of relatively recent international acclaim, including a Cervantes Prize and Argentine National Poetry Prize, and his work continues to be translated into English. More impressive, however, than Gelman’s vitae is the sheer poetical power and pull of his work. Gelman’s poetry negotiates the boundaries between politics and history, between voice and borders, and gives an enigmatic narrative thread to the life and times of a poet in exile. It is impossible to not appreciate the sophistication and pathos that is etched in the work.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Darrin Doyle
  • Date Published February 2015
  • ISBN-13 9780986092213
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 170pp
  • Price $11.99
  • Review by Kimberly Ann Priest

Phobia is defined, by my handy dictionary app, as “an extreme or irrational fear or aversion to something.” It’s debatable whether or not Darrin Doyle, intends to further encourage and perhaps even expand the catalog of possible phobias one might adopt in a lifetime, or whether he hopes that by delving into the darkest regions of psychic subconscious, his stories might locate the irrationality of a reader’s particular fear and give it permission to come into the light. In either case, his collection of short stories and flash fictions entitled The Dark Will End the Dark promises to satisfy the most twisted reader and the busily-untwisting reader alike.

  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Carol Guess
  • Date Published November 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-936767-01-4
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 80pp
  • Price $14.95
  • Review by Jodi Paloni
The old adage, good things come in small packages, rolls off the tongue easily during times when economy is in fashion: smaller cars, tighter budgets, and fuel-efficient homes. Lately, the scarcity I feel regards time. So when a batch of uncorrected proofs of lyrical shorts arrived in the mail, I thrilled at the brevity of their roughly 7 x 5 inch shape, the ample white space on the pages, and the thin way they slid into my purse, at the ready for checkout lines, dentist chairs, and half-hour lunch breaks. This month, I’ve come to understand that good writing comes in small packages, and that a mere few lines can pack a potent narrative punch.
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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Erri de Luca
  • Translated From Italian
  • by Michael F. Moore
  • Date Published November 2011
  • ISBN-13 978-1-59051-481-8
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 175pp
  • Price $16.95
  • Review by Olive Mullet
Erri de Luca’s The Day Before Happiness, a bildungsroman set in Naples after WWII, shows both memories of the war and the city at that time, focusing on characters in an apartment complex. It also offers poetic insights along with humor. The lyrical style ultimately doesn’t distinguish the two main characters, even though one is a boy and one his caretaker/mentor, but the humor does distinguish another character in his nouveau riche ignorance.
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  • Book Type Poetry
  • by Melody S. Gee
  • Date Published February 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-943899-01-2
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 55pp
  • Price $14.00
  • Review by Daniel Klawitter

Melody S. Gee’s new book of poems is a compelling catalog of inheritance and family history—of trying to make a home in a world divided between incarnation and separation, life and death, past and future. The book itself is divided into two sections: “Separate Blood” and “Bone.” So not surprisingly, the poems here deal with bodies and their relation to other bodies, particularly the mother-daughter relationship, but other heritages as well.

 

 

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  • Book Type Fiction
  • by Nora Gold
  • Date Published April 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-1-77133-261-3
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 288pp
  • Price $22.95
  • Review by MacKenzie Hamilton

Obsession is a nasty beast whose claws sink deep and anchor inside its victims. Nora Gold’s book, The Dead Man, follows a heartbroken Eve Bercovitch, who has spent the last five years bleeding out in the grips of her obsession. The Dead Man straps readers into the passenger’s seat of a roller coaster ride through the world of Israeli music. Gold weaves a narrative so intricate that readers everywhere will find themselves questioning the reality of this world. Eve is the perfectly imperfect vehicle through the wild world that’s unearthed inside these pages.

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