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Bartleby Snopes - November 2009

  • Published Date: November 2009
  • Publication Cycle: Monthly online

This literary journal presents eight stories a month to the reading public and then has viewers vote on their favorite. That story becomes the featured story of the month, to be included in a downloadable biannual collection produced in July and January. Two new stories are featured each week, encouraging frequent visitations to the website by interested readers. This is strictly a fiction website, and there is a range from microfiction up to 4000 words.

The November edition presents “Snapshot Resolutions” by Brent Krammes, an absorbing story about a man in a Las Vegas casino who has a heart attack when a performance artist, in the interest of self-promotion, throws out a string of firecrackers to the floor. We then learn of the involvement of numerous people in this tragedy, including the performing artist himself, the man’s wife, and the attending waitress. Nicely constructed.

David Erlewine writes a piece of flash fiction entitled “Go On, Please,” about an elderly man dying of cancer who rambles on to his disinterested social worker about Stanley Milgram, a psychologist in the ‘60’s who did a series of experiments proving that most people will voluntarily murder someone if given proper clearance by the right authority figure. There is black humor here, and the story can be appreciated even more if one is more intimately acquainted with the now-famous study (can be Googled).

In the October issue, Robert Meade writes “Lord of the Leaves,” an entertaining story about a young boy who is being beaten up regularly by two neighborhood thugs, and his creative way of ultimately exacting revenge. And Howie Good offers a nice stylistic prose-poem entitled “Hotel Dystopia,” a story that can be lingered over and tasted for a while.

Going back to the September issue, I thoroughly enjoyed “The Second Coming” by Townsend Walker, the September Story of the Month. It concerns a conniving preacher and a seventeen-year-old nymphet named Charity, both of whom have their agendas, but only one will achievement fulfillment (Gosh, I wonder which one?).

This journal is essentially a one-man show, run by Nathaniel Tower, who reviews all the submissions and even gives feedback concerning the ones he rejects – which compose about ninety per cent. All this and he publishes relatively prolifically himself on various online journals. Pretty impressive! A website to visit for sure.
[www.bartlebysnopes.com]

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Review Posted on December 14, 2009
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