Amoralists and Other Tales: Collected Stories

Cyrus Colter, Author Thunder's Mouth Press $9.95 (283p) ISBN 978-0-938410-65-2
In these 18 short stories, the author of A Chocolate Soldier limns the rhythm and the blues of black life in Chicago in the 1960s. With settings that range from high society to the ghetto, Colter is consummate in his attention to detail (``He recognized the break in the line of one eyebrow as scar tissue, put there by men's fists.'') and in his presentation of graphic characters (such as Lonnie, a college dropout who brags to his drunken cronies about the power of Shakespeare``He'll bust th' average man's skull wide open!Lord, wide open! ''). Colter strives for the understated epiphanythe moment when a protagonist makes a decision that will map the course of his or her life, revealing a future of possibilities or condemning one to a loveless and painful existence. Some of the stories fall flat, notably the two narrated by whites (in ``Macabre'' a white boss intimidates a newly hired, barely competent black secretary). But on the whole, these are literate, streetwise tales that burn with a quiet fire. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Hardcover - 283 pages - 978-0-938410-67-6
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