Wanting Only to Be Heard -Awp

Jack Driscoll, Author University of Massachusetts Press $32.5 (208p) ISBN 978-0-87023-808-6
Most of the 18 stories in this collection, recipient of the Associated Writing Programs Award for Short Fiction, are tinged with a peculiar sense of longing, one that comes from a conventionally ascribed male inability to express emotion. Actions here take the place of words, but they rarely achieve their goals; the characters are left with a sensation of loss that only their creator is able to articulate. And Driscoll does it well, if occasionally too well: the prose is polished to a watertight gloss, and the actions are set up as symbolic long before they have the chance to be lifelike first. The title story, in which a trio of boys take a deadly gamble with their own intimation of immortality and an ice-fishing hole, is in several ways the most forced on these counts. The author places his sophisticated notions of storytelling--``Judge said you could measure a story by its private disclosure''--in the mouths of babes, where it sounds an off note. Many of the briefer tales, such as ``The Season of Families,'' about a marriage of opposites and told from the woman's point of view, don't suffer as much from the intrusion. But overall, the stories exude a Hemingwayesque machismo, and this is not only because they are mainly about men and boys, fathers and sons, and often center on deer or bear hunting, baseball, or risk-taking (some confused youngsters climb a water tower and play with fireworks in ``Killing Time''). It's also because at times poet Driscoll ( Building the Cold from Memory ) exerts so much literary muscle on his material that it fails to breathe, although it's bursting with potential. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
Show other formats
Paperback - 978-0-87023-979-3
Hardcover - 193 pages - 978-0-585-08340-7
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.