Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Quick-ish: "Stopping for Strangers" by Daniel Griffin

Quick-ish: Stopping For Strangers by Daniel Griffin, 2011, 9781550653205.

Canadian Computer Guy writes short stories.  Canadian Computer Guy gets short stories published in compilation.  Canadian Computer Guy emails library customers saying, "I wrote a book.  Please take a look."  Wisconsin Library Director says, "Sure, Canadian Computer Guy is a decent dude."  Wisconsin Library Director takes two years and four months to get around to reading it.

Ten literary short stories.  142 pages.  I should read more literary short stories because I enjoyed these.  I also liked that book by Levine.  These stories focus on family relations.  Often between siblings (or maybe those stuck in my head longer).  The characters are usually skirting financial ruin. People who don't know what they want.  People who think of themselves but cannot see their selfishness.

I liked all of these.  Some produced some real unease and dread.  Griffin is covering topics and situations that struck a nerve with me.  The Leap and Florida are two sibling stories that stuck out.

The Leap is told after and before.  After has the sister narrating how she drives her wheelchair bound brother out to play pool every week.  Sister is trying to give Brother something to do to keep him off the sauce.  He is demanding and rude.  He tells the before where he and pal go to a winter party.  Brother is attracted to another man at the party but no one knows Brother is queer.  Brother has a girl hitting heavy on him but he has eyes for dude.  Brother is former gymnast and tries to show off on a slippery porch railing.  He falls and breaks his back.

Florida has a dickhead brother taking his sister's truck to a service station.  He goes inside, asks for cigarettes from the girl working there and says, "Take it off Sister's pay, gotta go, see ya' later" and skips out the door.  As Brother is pulling out he hits a kid's bike as the kid is going past.  Brother says, "What are doing?! Here, I'll give you a ride."  Brother chats with the kid and spins bullshit tale of living high in Florida and he is only in Ontario (maybe it was another Province) for his mother's funeral.

1.  After reading stories by Griffin, Craig Davidson, and Joel Hynes I really don't want to visit Canada.
2.  Except Quebec.  I still want to go back to Montreal.
3. Sweet!  I just checked Craig Davidson's web page and he has a new novel out, Cataract City. I'm buying that sucker.
4.  I still have not watched that film version of Davidson's Rust and Bone.  I did buy a copy for the library.
5. I don't see anything new by Griffin.

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