Writers Aren T Exactly People They Re A Whole Lot Of People Trying To Be One Person In Dennis Must S Third Story Collection, Going Dark, The Narrators Mirror F Scott Fitzgerald S Observation By Drawing The Reader Into Their Dissimilar Yarns, Earthy Or Exalted, Practical Or Fanciful An Aging Actor Looks Back On His Life, But Whose Life Does He Recall A Couple Finds A Novel Way To Spice Up Their Marriage, But Then The Fantasy Takes On A Life Of Its Own Middle Aged Men Struggle To Cope With Distracted Wives And Terminal Loneliness They Look Back On Hapless Childhoods To Come To Terms With What Drove Their Parents Or Siblings To Suicide, Infidelity, Or Madness Post World War II Midwest Is The Predominant Setting, And Must S Poetic Gift Captures Its Moods, Textures And Odors And Gives It Form And Substance In Vivid Colors And Dramatic Shades Of Gray.Their Author Has Been Variously Compared To Franz Kafka, Flannery O Connor, Nathaniel West, And Nathanial Hawthorne. Here are 17 of Dennis Must s short stories, previously published in literary journals, about a hodgepodge of different characters, working through middle class, young and old Must has a wide and varied background in the arts and commerce, and convincingly gets into the heads of his characters, telling their tales from first and third person points of view I almost reneged on reviewing this book due to time conflicts, but made the fatal error of opening it and reading the following description of a woman Alana would braid her raven black hair in one glorious plait When she climbed the stairs at night, I d watch it sweep from the left side of her porcelain back to the right, pendulum like That lovely bit of descriptive prose forced me to reconsider, and I read on, and found this bit echoing and opposing description of the protagonist s alter ego in the same story The SS Waffen officers in jodhpurs, gleaming boots, and officer s caps with black patent leather bills and silver skull emblems on their crowns Must has a spare, concise style, with great clarity of expression and strong emotional impact, no wasted words, ric
Award Winning Finalist in the Fiction Short Story category of the 2017 International Book AwardsApril 28, 2016 by Dactyl ReviewI read Going Dark, Selected Stories by Dennis Must, Coffeetown Press, 170 pages I saw a realistic foundation in each story Here is a recognizable world with real people suffering real life anguish What interested me, however, was the way the author then handled time, space, and imagination To come to grips with it, I had to invent a literary term lyrical surrealism to distinguish Must s work from fantasy which, to my mind, means dragons and dragonspeak, time warps, elves and men with long beards carrying oaken staves and speaking some dialect of incomprehensible origin.There is much pain and sorrow in these stories but the writer glides over it as if to say That s right, but let s move on But oh, what moving on.The way I see it, these stories, despite their foundation in a concrete world, twist away from the real The work isn t naturalistic, neither is it realistic nor completely surrealistic It has, instead, this element of the beyond, which the French poet Stephane Mallarm called the au dela and others called the ephemeral In Going Dark, the drudgery of realism is loosened and the imagination, which is the wellspring of the surreal, then combines unexpected images to produce a state of mental reality of its own
brilliant collection of stories by a master story teller.
- 184 pages
- Going Dark
- Dennis Must
- 21 March 2018 Dennis Must