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Up All Night eHold steady against an oncoming force His jackboots crunched on the ballast He pressed his hands flat againstach side of his waist One of the others stationed himself to the side running his own palms over The Smooth Shorn Surface Of His Scalp smooth shorn surface of his scalp a repeated motion half fidget and half habitThere are a few stories that really stood out to me in this book I liked The Gesture Hunter although it reminded me of Aimee Bender and I suspect she would have carried it off in a The Spiral Dance enchanting satisfying way Still there were some lovely moments in itA man and a womanmbraced by grief Embracing The man in a sports coat and blue jeans with that stooped The Erotic Mind expression slightly bent beneath some gravitational weight of his own grief the woman in a long violet dress tightening then loosening against her hips as the breeze rippled the fabric those hips I ll never forget I suppose jutting lightly against his own as much a part of thembrace as anything She bent and shifted with the great forces against her the way someone on the deck of a boat must adjust himself to the changing horizon it was right there before me the gyroscope of their pain holding the gesture making it as pure as carved stone petrified forever the brass rails holding up the canopy overhead green and white striped Suddenly a blinding purplish brilliance lit the front of the parlour afireand this one about the Gesture Hunter s baby son in the baththe most beautiful sight in the world The water boiled up around his fist The slick oily light slide off his skin His smiling face looked up at me and his tiny fleck of hair lay pasted to his scalp while my wife behind me in the hall Softly Folded A Towel Over folded a towel over arm and outside the summer air moved tainted with lavenderThe weirdness of The Widow Predicament and the Dancing at Midnight (The Splendid Trilogy, experimental way he spins out hypothetical scenarios was really fascinatingThe story that most gripped me was Assorted Fire Events The description was incredible themotional primal connection between men and fire I loved it There s so much wonderful stuff in this story Just one xampleThe plot of fire is nebulous and serene wildly fanatic and calm at the same time trailing up curtains and along the undersides of carpet padding taking its own sweet time and then conversely becoming diametric logarithmic taking big gulping gorging sweeps of the floorboards and runners until it sings sweetly the fantastic house burning lament blasting out of the windows and licking the roof avesIn conclusion fantastic house burning lament blasting out of the windows and licking the roof Here With Me (Together eavesIn conclusion guess I d say this book is really worth a read if you re a serious writer David is certainly talented and there is much to learn from here 2007 notebook 1st story is so kick ass you have to put it down and take a breath Other stories not as good good but wandering too self conscious for me at timesg he dismisses a character we won t hear from her again The sheer scope of a novel allows authors to develop plots and craft three dimensional characters that can stimulate readers the short story writer denied this luxury needs to be an Double Deception (Code Name: Danger exuisite artist to achieve audiencengagement David Means Wicked Lies (Men of Summer, embodies thisxcellence in an astounding first collection of storiesThe title of this work Assorted Fire Events alludes to one of the pieces contained although it can serve as a characterisation of the work as a whole as many of the stories deal with those significant Grave Tattoo events in life often destructive and dramatic that define who we at that time and whatever our intentions continue to intrude on ourxistence long after their occurrence This sense of being imprisoned by the past is most Georgia and the Tycoon effectively articulated in Coitus and Sleeping Bear Lament where charactersngaged in Churchills Trial everyday activities are suddenly hit by memories of traumaticvents In Coitus Means skilful writing is able to A Conspiracy of Ravens (Lady Trent Mysteries establish from the onset a profound sense of uneaseven before we know anything of the characters or their situation as he depicts a sex scene with factual detachment Whilst the initial thought is of a relationship in decline as the parties robotic motions deprive the act of any intimacy Means shows that it is the male characters guilt over two separate vents a past bereavement and betrayal that leads to the sense of disengagement although with Means subtle writing the sense of a relationship doomed can be inferred In the confines of this short piece the reader s curio. Gs that we cherish most His incomparable distinct voice often wildly humorous always n. More serious subjects than I usually like to read but still interesting 1Again a faint breeze came He moved forward along the tracks leaving a pad print full of blood behind him on In Pursuit of a Princess each tie Ahead of him the tracks curved farther into the darkness to his left and overhead the steel girders and chutes of the stoneworks 6The night took on vast grand proportions the night was liuid and runny stretched taut until it was no than a thin strand of hot white burning his foot and palm Only The Widow Predicament and What They Did really made any impression on me the former so than the latter Having the opposite problem here that I did with Amy Hempel her stories are so lightly written that the impactludes me while Means s stories are overly dense and the impact is lost somewhere among all his words I ll give another collection a go for the sake of it but I don t have high hopes Current read Mixed feelings I figured I was overdue for some fiction and opted for this book of short stories acclaimed as one of the best in recent times Tbh I m not sure I agree The author certainly knows how to paint a picture but his writing style full of long sentences that just keep going like streams of words burbling and full of long sentences that just keep going like streams of words burbling and on and on piling description upon description gets a bit tiresome So does the repeated theme of death which combined with this meandering melancholic monologue style of writing makes for depressing reading Short stories should have impact of course and these certainly do but at the same time it feels a bit Second Time Loving easy to grab some grim topic like suicide or a fatal accident or a fatal bashing that s like 3 of the first 4 stories and leave the reader feeling reflectiveven uneasy I was impressed at the nd of the first story but by the third or fourth it was all getting a bit old both stylistically and thematically Elouently told these stories would be a decent accompaniment for a long bus or ferry journey on a moody grey day but right now I can t really be bothered with any of m although unfortunately the Book Depository stork is yet to drop off my next purchase What an amazing talent Why had I not heard of this authorWhen a local book store had a closing down sale in 2013 I went in and bought Dark Awakening ever An interestingxploration of where you can take short stories in terms of point of view structure Hawks Way (Hawks Way etc It felt a little forced at times though A literaryxperimentation An opportunity for the writer to demonstrate how uniue uirky and legant his characters view of the world was although ifonce I was in their heads it all felt too similar in tone and louence and failed to allow me to Creative Participation engage with the character on themotional level Most of the stories somehow left me feeling dissatisfied hence the three starsSaying that there are some to die for descriptions For xample this one from The Grip although it s somehow ill fitting with the 20 year old hard up character who s observing itThe night took on vast grand proportions the night was liuid and runny stretched taught until it was no than a thin strand of hot white burning his foot and palmAnother beautiful description although one that seemed just a little too flowery for the character from TahorahHe got a vision of her at the cabin they rented upstate down by the water toking on hand rolled smokes and drinking beer until they nded up in the bed a rattling iron thing with their clothing off and only that pale summer twilight half there half gone making their skin smooth as whole milk such a wonderful smoothness he recalled Cognitive Radio Networks especially at the flat of her belly going down to the pubis bone the hard ridge on both sides and with the breeze like that not too hot or too cool coming through the screensAlso this one from The Interruption was lovelyInside the shelter headlights bled like long sizzling lines of melting ice across the milky PlexiglassI definitely learned a lot from David s ability to perfectly capture gestures with simple descriptionsEven in the firelight you could see that they were all four skinny in that deprived way knotty with muscles and the blue grey shadows of various tattoos The one who spotted him had just taken a long draw from a uart bottle of beer and was gasping for breathJesus shit he spoke softly wiping back a long black clump of hair from his faceThe fuck s this another said parting his legs a bit as if to. In his award winning second collection David Meansxplores the fragility of those thin.

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Sity can not be totally satisfied as a tidy resolution is not forthcoming but it is a testament to Means abilities that in the space of 14 pages the reader is stimulated to trace the permutations of the tale beyond the printed pageSleeping Bear Lament is a beautiful and moving reflection on a class outcast Sam Although set in America the sense of a school pupil who is treat as pariah because he is impoverished or in some senses different is a universal Personnel Management in Government experience that cannot fail to resonate with the reader In this story the narrator is seeking redemption for some distance misdemeanours committed against the outcast to try and purge himself of his past and project this better fully formed adult onto the present and seek forgiveness from Sam Whilst the sentiments of the narrator can be appreciated there is a feeling that hisfforts will ultimately be futile and his guilt will never be assuagedWith the possible Out of This World exception of The Grip an account of a man s pride of his physicalndurance and the comical What I Hope For which seems to parody tales of relentless loveliness the stories are saturated with melancholy with characters tormented or confronted by tragic The Time It Never Rained events Railroad Incident August 1995 is a disturbing depiction of urban brutality where a once seemingly successful man collides with the dispossessed What They Did is tale of corporate irresponsibility where the feelings of victims are starkly contrasted with themotional detachment of business organisationsIn short this is an The Child of the Soul and Other Stories exuisite beautifully crafted collection of stories which deal with the tragedies andmotions that are a mark of human Childrens Phantasies existence Means inconomical but profound prose is able to stablish characters and vents that generate The Soviet Union empathy sympathy and sadness It is noxaggeration to suggest that Means if he can maintain this standard should be in the pantheon of great American short story writers It begins with two words THE DECLIVITY and in the stark brutality of those capitals one word small and common the other strange self consciously artful in its unfamiliarity the reader feels the
Beads Of Sweat Prinking Into 
of sweat prinking into xistence on his soon to be furrowed brow for by those two words and those two words alone he knows he is in the grip of Great American Literature remorseless and unforgiving in its brooding power drawn from the primeval heart of that young dark continent yearning to be read aloud in that slow laconic Lake Wobegon accent that makes Almost Any Prose Sound Profound any prose sound profound long as the adjectives are as rich as tar the metaphors as obscure as an Indiana railrodder and the sentences long impossibly long 250 words in places homecoming uilts of subordinate clauses stitched lovingly together with straining semicolons curt m dashes and parentheses in an affected Jack Kerouac stream of consciousness that makes you ask how something however well xecuted could be called ground breaking if it harks back to a style that came into vogue 50 years ago and has antecedents an ocean and a century away in James Joyce full of attention *to the minutest detail full of nothing BUT detail in fact psychological in its intensity looking not at vents but at *the minutest detail full of nothing BUT detail in fact psychological in its intensity looking not at vents but at mundane moments that call to mind crystallize in fact those defining moments of death sorrow and yearning long past and all performed with art and style the beautiful tension of holding together such an impossible sentence structure without which Great American Literature is simply impossible the Wile E Coyote running on air or the infinite poise of Muhammad Ali frozen in time the intense anticipation of the blow that never fell could never fall would spoil the moment but the beauty of the possibility in its grace that makes the world gasp hold its breath and Means succeeds he does it just not uite triumphantly but beautifully artfully gracefully as the cascade of syllables becomes a crescendo of art O THE DECLIVITY THE DECLIVITY the reader gasps at the audacity pretentiousness perhaps yet is suspended almost frozen in that beautiful moment then is released from the spell reaches for his coffee and approaches the next word Means stares straight into the parts of life we prefer to leave in the dark and this collection is a haunting beautiful result of that bravery I picked up this collection of short stories after reading Means story Two Nurses Smokin. Gaging has led the New York Times to call Means one of our most talented younger writer. ,
Assorted Fire Events