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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Having already won the Richard Sullivan Prize for Short Fiction, this collection of 13 short stories should earn the author of Plato at Scratch Daniel's and the novel Winter in Florida further recognition. Falco creates nearly perfect short stories filled with interesting characters and wonderfully dramatic situations. Three stand out: First is the title story, about Jerome, a married man whose stability is founded on a violent, drug-filled past. When his friend and protege Alice reveals she's planning to drop acid, Jerome has to decide how far he's willing to go to protect her. ``Smugglers'' is the story of Matt, a 22-year-old from America's heartland who is having misgivings about his upcoming debut as a European cocaine smuggler. And ``Tell Me What It Is'' introduces Barrett, an aging soap opera star who lives ``with the knowledge of the nothing at the center of everything.'' The characterizations are so crisp that it's impossible not to care about these people. Aside from one small, strange quirkthe noticeable repetition of the adjective sylph-likeFalco proves himself to be a sterling practitioner of the short story form. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
Author of a previous collection (Plato at Scratch Daniel's, 1990) and a novel (Winter in Florida, 1990), Falco writes tense, gritty fiction that portrays ordinary people caught between the claims of "normal" life and the lure of the forbidden and untasted. His characters include an aimless teenaged burglar (in "Radon"), a college student radically transformed by his friendship with a troubled married couple (in "Ax"), and (in the title story) a reformed drug addict whose old life won't leave him alone. Battling or grieving families, unstable and endangered relationships, assume haunting accusatory shape in 13 pellucid stories that are stylistically akin to the plays of David Mamet or Sam Shepard.

Falco's voice, though, is his own, and his work keeps getting better and better.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acid 1
Smugglers 19
The Artist 33
Radon 53
Petrified Wood 71
Vinnie's Boy, Larry 85
Tests 99
Tell Me What It Is 109
Ax 133
Drivers 149
Georgia O'Keeffe, Vision 157
The Requirements of Flight 163
Gifts 183
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Customer Reviews

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