July 29, 2010

An Amazing Feat: Startling Stories in Tiny Spaces,


Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews

This review is from: The Mix Tape (Perfect Paperback)

THE MIX TAPE is from the series FLASH FORWARD: A Collection of Flash Fiction - 2010 and is a winner from the cover design, to the concept of dividing the book in two parts - one opens from the front, the other flips the book and turns is upside down for part 2. Inside this little treasure trove are what seem like hundreds of very brief 'novels' compressed into 1 to 4 pages. Within this context the many authors served up here find the ability to create an entire story that because of the abbreviated format carries such a wallop that it takes a moment to breathe before the next one.

The microstories range from high comedy to sensitive melodrama, to bizarre animals, funerals, Holocaust, teen pregnancies, religion - almost every imaginable topic is surveyed with astonishingly fine writing. Some of the stand out works include a brief look at an encounter with possible love angles that ends unexpectedly by Felix Calvino (‘In the Park’), several stories from Nancy Stohlman ('Clowning for Jesus' is bound to become a classic) whose flirtations with being naughty ('Donny and Marie Osmond Barbie') vie with those of Kona Morris ('Confession #3', 'Going Back') or stories by Sophie Rosenblum ('A Terrier's Limits' et al). To have the luxury to savor such creativity within the covers of one book is a feast. Let's hope these 'Fast Forwards' continue! Editors K. Scott Forman, Kona Morris, and Nancy Stohlman have done a superb job in arresting the talents of many terrific writers. Grady Harp, July 10