Wednesday, January 23, 2019
We are very noir today, with a sense of doom hanging over every page of this story. Here is the opening paragraph:
My papa died when I was a baby, shot in the crossfire between the cartel and the police.
Our narrator grows up to be a soldier for the cartel but he swears to get his family out of the life and into the United States. He succeeds, but how long can a good thing last.
At one point there is a gun in his house and he says "eso infecta." It is infected. He isn't referring to anything as natural as a germ, just a very human illness.
Grim and moving.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
I admit I may be prejudiced about this story because I just finished watching The Kominsky Method on Netflix and in my head I can hear Alan Arkin reciting the whole tale.
In any case Perks has come up with something delightful and hilarious.
Mr. Nowicki is, he tells us, "a seventy-two-two-year-old retired middle school assistant principal who has lived in Grant Park for forty years." He is furious about what is happening in his neighborhood so he has gone to a website called Good Neighbor!(tm) to report what he sees.
And he has strong opinions about that. For example he has a problem with his neighbor who is (the internal quotation marks are his): "a 'writer' who 'works' from home. ('Writer' always takes morning tea on his porch in his pajamas and at five p.m., takes cocktail on porch, still in his pajamas. You've probably seen him on your way to and from actual work.)"
Then there is a young woman, possibly a thief, possibly something else, who claims to be named Jim Hawkins. Takes Mr. Nowicki a while to figure out why.
One more quote from our hero, after he has seen "three apparently Hispanic males, ages approximately eight or nine years old," putting trash in said neighbors "Little Library."
I descend, which takes some time due to bum hip, retrieve plastic bag and 'trash grabber' ($6.47, Amazon Prime, you can read my review, three stars because the sharp tongs are dangerous), exit house, open gate, cross street to nieighbor's 'Little Library" (a glassed-in cabinet painted a glaring aqua, plunked onto a post).
Glad you're taking an interest, Mr. Nowicki.
Monday, January 7, 2019
Chances are you have met someone a bit like Colin Anderson. Chances are you didn't enjoy it much. He's the kind of middle-aged guy who invites you to dinner and makes you look at pictures of his championship college lacrosse team. Oh joy.
Colin is now a successful surgeon but he isn't interested in working hard. He prefers to spend his time being tennis and golf champion at the country club, and spending his wife's money.
But when she finds out what - or who - he is spending the money on, his life takes a sharp sudden turn.
This is a clever story that involves a phenomenon so strange I had to look it up to see if it is real. It is. The delightful twists keep coming straight to the end.