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The Old Man and the Bird and Other Fictions: [Pleasant and Unpleasant]by David Swartz
Synopses & Reviews
Six dark fictions with a cosmic scope and a delirious immediacy, these shorter pieces (2 novellas and 4 one-acts) are an aspect of Swartz's gift many will find welcome, others hugely unsettling.
The Old Man and the Bird, the concluding sequence of a befuddled Harry Ricci, could be taken as a 'neo-conservatively-grotesque' parable. From there it is a short stroll to Burt Spew in 'Snappers,' a madcap Armageddon of its own and parody of 'Jaws.'
We have as well such oddities as 'The Damnation of Winston Pollock,' the saga of a disgruntled software wizard; 'The Gift Horse and the Gift,' the comic swan song of a disaffected shooter; 'Off the Record,' the threnody of 'a pedophilic trans-racial hip hop' composer; and 'Clippers,' the outcry of a small-town American sub-literate, a latter-day, testosterone-laden barber 'waiting for [his] Godot.'
All told, these tales are abundant reminder that it was possible to laugh before 9/11, and to chuckle, even roar, long after, en route to our current Abu Ghraibs or Guantanamos.
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