Friday, December 30, 2011

Not To Be Overlooked

Here are two noteworthy pieces of fiction that you may have missed.  Both books present wonderful reading experiences and deserve your notice. 

Kevin Holohan's caustic and witty book, The Brothers' Lot, delivers a swift kick to the crumbling moral decay of Irish Catholic brotherhoods and church schools in this debut novel.  Holohan's story will leave you angered, but also bemused that there could be anything laughable about the corrupted world of the "Brothers of Godly Coercion for Boys of Meager Means."  Wielding his plot line like a terrible swift sword, Holohan insures that there will be retribution served against the Brothers for their many examples of child abuse.  In fact, the walls of their miserable school  do indeed come crashing down around their heads in a great scene of authorial wish fulfillment by this very promising Irish writer. 

American author and poet Denis Johnson's beautiful novella, Train Dreams, is an exceptional work capturing the sweep and depth of change in early 1900's America.  Writer Anthony Doerr's review notes that "Johnson is as skilled as ever at balancing menace against ecstasy, civilization against wilderness. His prose tiptoes a tightrope between peace and calamity, and beneath all of the novella’s best moments, Johnson runs twin strains of tenderness and the threat of violence." Denis Johnson's masterful writing condenses what could have been an epic story into a poetic, magical piece of short fiction.  This is literary fiction of a high caliber.
~Evelyn Fischel~