Borrowed Voices

Sigrid Bergie, Author, Roger Sheffer, Author New Rivers Press $7.95 (142p) ISBN 978-0-89823-116-8
In one of the short stories in this collection, a character recalls how he used to trudge through snowstorms to sing in a cathedral choir, ``not because they paid me a dollar a Sunday, but because I felt responsible.'' The narrator then observes, ``I failed to see the point of the anecdote.'' The same can be said for these pieces themselves. Sheffer ( The Lost River ) writes knowledgeably of the dynamics of a church choir and of the tensions between voice teachers and their pupils, but ultimately he fails to draw any discernible conclusions. Readers are left pondering bizarre women who check into ``mental wards,'' and unfathomable images (``She let her hands fly apart like wings that had broken off a bird''). His incoherence aside, Sheffer offends with a number of gratuitous references to fat, balding or ``farm-ugly'' women. His volume is about as scintillating as a broken record. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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