Reviewed by Geoff Nelder
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Eraserhead Press (October 24, 2010)
This is a Young Adult collection of humorous, no, whacky, stories you shouldn’t miss. Note the unconventional use of lower case letters in titles. I did that once on a poster in the late 1960s to advertise a meeting of the local Labour Party Young Socialists and was reprimanded by the vice-principal of the college for being too avant garde. I am envious that Tony Rauch is doing it to good effect now. There are writing conventions Rauch ignores, and this will either matter to you if you are an editor, or be unaffected if you are a reader.
The first short story is ‘the stench’. Rather loosely written but with plenty of sensory Show and three-dimensional characters. The retching by the reader from the odorous lead-in, and follow-up is exquisitely twisted with the end game. Beautifully done.
‘people have been drifting away lately’ – a tale detailing what happens when people deflate, curl up like a leaf and drift, twirl into the sky as if a gentle, silent but inexorable twister is taking them away. Beautifully written. Is it a metaphor of life and mortality? The steps to acceptance of the end, perhaps. Whatever, it cunningly reflects a whimsy we all must have now and then.
Through to ‘the sandbox’ where treasure lies at the end of this rainbow of short stories, some gross, others rendering the reader thoughtful and admiring.
A stimulating collection suited for bizarro aficionados and anyone who curls up with thoughtful stories for the curious.
Get it from Amazon as a slim paperback.
No ebook just yet.