Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Roof Whirl Away by Tom Saunders, reviewed

I'm a fan of the short story. Written a few myself. So as a reader, I appreciate the form, and like to sink my teeth into a collection as good as the latest from Tom Saunders, Roof Whirl Away, which follows his 2004 debut collection Brother, What Strange Place is This?

26 stories in all, Saunders's characters are complex, real, flawed, and people you can either relate to, or feel that you know. And if you don't, you'll know them by the end of the tale. Saunders grabs you from the get go and doesn't let go. Here is the opener to the story "Bonny Craigallen," which leads off the collection:

I don't do the violence any more. I don't use my fists and I haven't touched a gun since the business with Garner. Anger flows through me nowadays, it doesn't get stoppered-up inside, an acid to burn and scar. It's no longer necessary to what I do. But I can still remember what it was like to be a dangerous man. The authority of it. The pride. The adrenaline. To front up another fledgling hard bastard and know you've gone further, oh so much further than he has.

Powerful stuff, and a strong voice.

There are many stand out stories in Roof Whirl Away, like the touching "Lasting," which is loosely based on the life of the 19th century English naturalist and writer Richard Jefferies; or the aging rock star of "Sunburst Guitar," whose prized Hofner guitar is stolen by a teenage street performer; or the hilarious "Big," which features adult star La Hooters McDade (Martha to her friends), who just needs a little R&R, some time off from being the larger than life La Hooters McDade.

I tried to pace myself while reading this book, so I could extend the pleasure as long as possible. But that didn't always work. I'd turn the page and be onto the next story without even realizing it. Roof Whirl Away is one of those books that makes me wish I owned a book store, so I could put it up front and spread the word about it. But I guess I just did! If you are a lover of the short story, do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy.

To purchase Roof Whirl Away, click on this link:
Roof Whirl Away

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ringo is very busy

And get off my lawn, you damn kids!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Death Cab For Cutie @ Radio City

In my continuing Death Cab For Cutie obsession, I went to see them live at Radio City Music Hall Monday night. Here is a pic I took with my cell phone:

Even with a crappy, low-res cell phone picture, it looks like I was pretty close to the stage, right? Well how does FIRST ROW grab you? And the amazing thing is, I bought this ticket on Saturday. How did that happen? You got me. The seat was actually in a section they called "the pit," which consisted of about four or five rows that were actually in front of the normal front row. Maybe it was added at the last minute, I don't know. But hey, I'm not complaining.

Oh, and by the way, they were great!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I will possess your heart

OK, I've been obsessed with Death Cab For Cutie lately. If you're not familiar with them, check out this video for I Will Possess Your Heart, the first single off of their new cd Narrow Stairs.