"Paul F. Gleeson's hardboiled fiction paints characters who live in swirling cesspools of corrupt human nature in a rich, distinct voice that's not to be missed."
-- David Cranmer, editor of BEAT to a PULP
Paul F. Gleeson was a successful Chicago lawyer who died in 2012, at the age of 70. He was also my father. Among his belongings we found a boxful of typed manuscripts from the 1970s and 80s. It turned out they were short stories he had written. These were great stories in the "pulp fiction" tradition, tales of crime and punishment, and strange characters committing dark deeds.
Also in the box were rejection letters from publishers. Dad was unable to get past the literary gatekeepers of those days. Discouraged, he stuck to his day job, and gave up his dream of entertaining the readers of America. The stories sat, unread, for three decades in a dusty heap.
But my sister, my two brothers, and I are making his dream come true now. We are finally sharing these stories with the world, the way he always wanted. His anthology, Screams from My Father: Stories by Paul F. Gleeson, includes these ten wickedly witty original short stories.
TEN SHORT STORIES:
- "One Bet Too Many": Howard Timmins is betting his life that what happened in Vegas will stay in Vegas.
- "All in the Family": A little boy and his young mother enjoy playing in the park. But they are being watched.
- "Unhappy Hour": When you drink at the Literal Club, you get exactly what you order.
- "What a Difference a Day Makes": How did April 10, 1861, manage to get erased from history?
- "Scab": When Kellman crosses the picket line, his friends have to show him some tough love.
- "Don't Touch That Dial": Martha has a surprise waiting for Carl when he gets home. Carl might have something for Martha too.
- "Reunited We Fall": Crashing college reunions is a good way to score a free meal. Or become one.
- "Going the Distance": What happens when a man pushes himself to the limit? And what happens when he pushes further than that?
- "Lunch": What started as a lunch hour quickly devolved into a blurry swirl of intrigue and nefarious plots.
- "Weight and See": Margaret has to lose weight, or die. Roger can help.
Also in the book are five humorous columns by Paul Gleeson, a foreword by Kevin Gleeson, and terrific cover art by Brendan Gleeson.
PRAISE FOR SCREAMS FROM MY FATHER:
"If Rod Serling and the Crypt Keeper had partnered together to do some writing work, their output would probably resemble this collection of dark adventures and sly twists. The author had two choices in life: write twisted tales of suspense and mayhem or practice law. It is a shame that he chose the dark side and focused on his law career instead of delivering to us more of these outrageous stories for our reading pleasure. But at least we have this collection to shock and amuse us. Get ready to take a walk on the wild side!"
-- Terrill Lee Lankford, author of EARTHQUAKE WEATHER