This blistering new collection from literary rising star Stephen Elliott demonstrates once again why his books have been praised as "graceful," "soaring," and "fearless." As with all of Elliott's work, these stories have the raw ring of truth filtered through the author's downbeat-poetic sensibility. My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up follows the narrator on a dizzying ride through past and present, from a group home for troubled adolescents in Chicago where he loses his virginity to shooting galleries and homeless encampments in San Francisco where he searches for deeper and darker thrills. In "Other Desires," a flood of unsettling memories backgrounds the narrator's involvement with a loose-knit family of lost souls. "Tears" explores the disturbing complexities of an S/M Internet hook-up. Several of the stories feature the enigmatic Eden, the narrator's polyamorous mistress. With My Girlfriend, Elliott confirms his status as a major young writer of a kind of literary fiction that recalls the work of Genet and Bukowski.
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My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The pieces in this collection were just the right length for me, mostly because the prose was as engaging (okay, arousing) as the subject matter, especially as the book progresses. I probably should've read the stories, as some say you should with a collection of shorts, in order. (I typically read a collection out of order, starting with the shortest pieces.) When I skimmed the book a final time to make sure I'd finished it, I could appreciate what seemed to be a theme of someone slowly, but surely putting himself back together after a life of trauma.