Assorted Fire Events

by David Means

These short stories have a throwaway violence, a laconic sideview of human frailty and death, a implicit compassion which all adds up to a uniquely American voice. So dense and driven are some of these mini-narratives and mood-pictures that I'm not sure I've understood them all. But I'm still gripped.


Last thoughts don't come easily, last thoughts rising above the shock and pain and the roar of blood to the eardrums and colors splashing behind eyelids, the ping of water dripping off the tunnel wall, the shuffled footfalls of the boys taking their leave, leaving him behind against the wall.


What the birds see by Sonya Hartnett
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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