Thursday, January 05, 2012
Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
I think that Gartner can turn one hell of a phrase, she's a strong writer, great visuals and the usual technical praise. If I'm honest though, in the entire collection there were only two stories that really grabbed me FLOATING LIKE A GOAT, and SUMMER OF THE FLESH EATER - the later I enjoyed so much I read it several times and I can't help but think that there's a film in there. It's about a man who moves onto a street filled with men that are more concerned about what rub to put on their piece of meat than how to kill the animal that it came from, and he's more of the killing the animal kind. It's a fun and smart story that really plays on man's feelings with how the world has changed and so we've changed with it. Floating Like a Goat is written as a letter from a parent to a teacher condemning for giving their daughter a "does not meet expectations" mark on her report card when, really, the whole point of art is to not meet expectations. It's a really cute and clever piece.
For me the rest of the book was just fine, but these two pieces were particularly strong. If you like short fiction (Canadian at that!) then it might just be up your aisle. It was a finalist for the Giller Prize last year as well.