Thursday, October 23, 2014

Understories, by Tim Horvath. Bellevue Literary Press, 2014

Brief and surreal, these tiny stories (some are only three or four pages long) vary from a deep study of human character to speculative tales of different types of cities. My favorite was ‘Circulation’, about a man on his death bed and what his son does for him- it’s one of the longest stories and there is time to build up the thousand and one nights relationship that develops. Some of the shorter pieces have no real plot; they are almost like exercises built on writer’s prompts. Most of the stories have a distinct weirdness to them- a city where they decide it’s not allowed to rain anymore; another city that is nothing but restaurants; another where the people are addicted to movies and every place, even the outside walls of buildings, is used to project films on. I enjoyed most of the book but wasn’t in love with it.

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