Archive for the ‘Fiction’ category

Politically Correct Bedtime Stories

The stories we read to our children are meant to speak to our children; they’re meant to open their eyes to the world they just entered, provide them with hints about how to make choices, and most importantly, they’re meant to inspire them to feel comfortable enough in their own skin to be who they came here to be. I don’t think that using the masculine pronoun throughout an entire story will create sexists, but I do believe that stories…

The Morning After John Lennon Was Shot

The Morning After John Lennon Was Shot was described as ‘…a satire on the so-called men’s movement—where men gather in a group to tell their primal story, the single great mythic journey of their lives during which all truths are revealed’ and set, as the title suggests, in the…

2012: Midnight at Spanish Gardens

One thing this books reminds me of is that we’re constantly being asked to make choices—some grand and some seemingly inconsequential—that dictate how our lives unravel, all the while…

Women’s Short Stories Volume 1

The storm, being a metaphor for repressed sexual desires, illustrates what can happen when women are faced with what society expects from them and what they really desire. Ah, the Victorian Age. How did we ever keep a lid on women’s sexual nature for so long? Warning, don’t play certain parts of this story in your car while you have the windows down. It took me several long seconds fumbling for the volume control while the person…

Wax

Wax has no interesting characters, even when they should be. Sylvia, the closeted lesbian, or maybe she’s bisexual, is the closest we get. Either way, you would think it would be worthy, even revealing, to…

A Visit From the Goon Squad

I get a giddy thrill when Mabuhay Gardens gets mentioned in the book. It brings back memories of a much younger me dragging a friend there before it closed to listen to music I was hearing on college radio. She didn’t know what she was in for. I didn’t either. That was a different San Francisco then. Pre-earthquake and pre-revitalization. More grit and less glitter. The hippies were long gone, although the addicts remained. Music was still on vinyl, and streaming music was stuff of science…

The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker looks at morality but takes it one step farther. It makes the reader question herself. Can you condemn someone for making a decision in a life-threatening situation? Can you argue that there is no way you would have made the same or similar decision? I’m constantly questioning whether or not I would be…

Buddha

The words paint vivid thoughts of calmness and serenity as I relive a journey through the narrow forest pathways of India. I write and read through the shadows of the forest canopy, slowly following the path this man took to open his eyes and mind to the nature of life. His…

Spare Change

I’m having an unexpected reaction when the narrative’s perspective changes to that of an eleven-year-old boy. The voice, the diction and tone are completely believable. In other words, the young character feels authentic…

Eating Crow

I love it when a book’s story aligns in real-time with parallels in my own life. I’m reading this book over Thanksgiving; a turning point in the book takes place over some spilled gravy during Thanksgiving dinner. Then in New York, pale Czech…

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

This is a story of marginalisation: marginalisation of Dominican immigrants in the United States, their marginalisation at home under the Trujillo dictatorship, and Oscar’s personal marginalisation from, well, pretty much everybody! By interrupting…

Luna

I am a future high school English teacher and I think that being able to cast aside judgments and expectations will be an important factor to being a successful teacher. Luna taught me several different things that I wish to bring into my classroom, the most important being that it is necessary to come from a place of understanding.

The Things They Carried

How much of this story is true? How much is fiction? I know it’s categorized as a work of fiction, but so much of it (the author’s name, his war history, and his published works) is grounded in reality. I wish I knew what was what. Then again, none of that’s supposed to matter in a…

Madame Bovary

While the first line of the book allows for a convincingly boyish description of Charles’ first day at school (with tackily flamboyant cap in tow), are we to believe that one of his schoolmates then decides to stalk him, his wife and his future neighbour for the next forty years of their lives? It seems odd that…