Unregulated Chicken Butts and Other Stories

Joseph S. Jacobson, Other University of Utah Press $14.95 (181p) ISBN 978-0-87480-349-5
Written by a Turkish emigre to Canada, the 35 stories collected here--few longer than 1500 words--are hardly more than vignettes. Set mostly in Canada, they suffer from rudimentary characters and plots and amateurish writing (in ``Montreal . . . Montreal . . .'' prostitutes are described as ``potent, radiant, and ready!''). Some make use of such tired devices as taking a seemingly innocuous situation to its extreme, as in ``Engineer Wanted,'' in which a want ad for a position in Canada placed in a Turkish newspaper attracts such a flood of applicants that the interviewer is driven to exhaustion, then to fleeing his hotel and, eventually, the country. Stories on banal topics--the benefits of country life over urban, the evils of consumerism and computers--are further weighted down by heavy-handed treatment and obvious conclusions. While some pieces rise above this level--notably ``Spring in Magog,'' an appealing tale of generations and cultures finding accommodation within one another, and ``Mud,'' about the different ways youth and age perceive the world--overall, these stories fall flat. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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