Terminal Weird

Jack Remick, Author Black Heron Press $10.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-930773-34-2
The adolescent-sounding title of Remick's first book of short fiction is perhaps fair warning. The shorter pieces--``Roach,'' ``Monica Metallica,'' ``Python''--are in every sense throwaways, pseudo-poetic or sophomorically gross, and the longer stories often abandon development of plot and character for a quick yuck (either disgust or humor), a ``surprise'' ending, or a run-on of punctuation-impaired verbiage. But when Remick is not posing or straining, his prose is quick and strong, his eye and sense of humor sharp, his imagination intriguing and his narrative drive admirable, as in the beginning of ``Lizard.'' This ``grunge horror'' about an immortal hunter of death-lizards reads like Charles Bukowski rewriting Patrick McGrath, but it ends just when it really should get going. ``Fish'' goes completely overboard into surrealism, obsessive, turgid and gruesome in the manner of Peter Greenaway's films, and like them, a good reminder of why surrealism never really caught on. The good in this collection (some of which is non-genre) promises an interesting writer, but one who has much to learn about verbal and imaginative discipline. The weird for its own sake is terminally boring. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
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