By Ed Allen
In "Celibacy-by-the-Atlantic," Phil negotiates a lingering, low-intensity remorse caused by the yearly family members get-together at his mom and dad' seashore condominium, the place stories of his aimless, privileged early life mingle with forebodings of his aimless, privileged heart age. In "A Lover's consultant to Hospitals," Carl lies in mattress, pining over a stillborn romance via a moody, post-op haze of painkillers. As a consoling needle during the center, the item of Carl's unrequited affections additionally seems to be his nurse.
In "Burt Osborne ideas the World," a precocious boy ponders his adolescence in "a global shielded from something you'll think doing to make it extra interesting." Sensing that in basic terms extra of an analogous awaits him as an grownup, Burt charts a unique course--as a category clown with a very poisonous experience of mischief. Others, like Lydia in "Ralph is going to Mexico," assert their individuality extra without problems, for they are simply too evidently peculiar to be cowed through conference. Lydia's challenge is whether or not she must have her leukemic cat filled and fastened or become a hat after he dies.
These lyrical stories rejoice the ordinary--and the no longer so ordinary--with a flourish of Nabokovian wit that mixes grandeur, kitsch, and the author's wide empathy along with his characters.
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Ate It Anyway: Stories by Ed Allen (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction) by Ed Allen