Having already won the Richard Sullivan Prize for Short Fiction, this collection of 13 short stories should earn the author of Plato at Scratch Daniel's and the novel Winter in Florida further recognition. Falco creates nearly perfect short stories filled with interesting characters and wonderfully dramatic situations. Three stand out: First is the title story, about Jerome, a married man whose stability is founded on a violent, drug-filled past. When his friend and protegee Alice reveals she's planning to drop acid, Jerome has to decide how far he's willing to go to protect her. ``Smugglers'' is the story of Matt, a 22-year-old from America's heartland who is having misgivings about his upcoming debut as a European cocaine smuggler. And ``Tell Me What It Is'' introduces Barrett, an aging soap opera star who lives ``with the knowledge of the nothing at the center of everything.'' The characterizations are so crisp that it's impossible not to care about these people. Aside from one small, strange quirk--the noticeable repetition of the adjective sylph-like--Falco proves himself to be a sterling practitioner of the short story form. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996 Release date: 02/01/1996 Genre: Fiction
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