Some Kinds of Love

Steve Yates, Author
Steve Yates. Univ. of Massachusetts, $19.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-62534-028-3
Reviewed on: 05/06/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
In this sturdy story collection, Yates (Morkan's Quarry) parades a cast of characters who, as diverse as they appear on the surface, have in common an underlying ignorance and mistrust of others. This trait manifests in a larger theme of historical prejudice in the "American Empire", the setting of these tales which range in time from 1833 to the present. The memorable ensemble includes an aging gay bachelor disturbed by a series of burglaries in his rapidly declining neighborhood; a vocationally and romantically unfulfilled highway inspector who has an affair with an uncouth contractor; an insect-collecting fat fetishist dealing with conflicting feelings toward the married object of his affection; a disaffected Pakistani would-be terrorist in post-9/11 Jackson, Mississippi; and a slow pitch softball player who happens to be able to see the future. Contrary to what the title suggests, the stories are more about what love is not: misdirected lust and other complex, confounding desires; but also personal and professional ennui and a sort of general angst. Instead of getting their comeuppance though, Yates's clueless characters get laid, get back together, or get a new SUV, which somehow rings true: good things happen to bad people, or more accurately in these cases, things happen to people. (May)