cover image 11 Stories

11 Stories

Chris Cander. Rubber Tree, $14 paper (234p) ISBN 978-0-9889465-0-7

Cander explores isolation and communication in this elusive but engaging portrayal of the life and death of Roscoe Jones, a 67-year-old Chicago apartment building superintendent. A former trumpet prodigy who lives an anonymous life, Roscoe falls to his death one evening from the roof of his building.%C2%A0Cander infuses Roscoe's reflections while plunging 11 stories with an abundance of realistic detail from which her portrait of an isolated but dedicated man emerges.%C2%A0As Roscoe's concerns expand from his trumpet and apartment to the sufferings of his building's tenants, he is impelled to extend compassion, feel pity, and to encounter love. The recurrent image of broken sidewalk slabs provides an unobtrusive metaphor for the hidden afflictions with which all people contend. Cander suggests that Roscoe's finding peace through friendship is a human necessity.%C2%A0Her conclusion provides grounds for belief in the possibility of redemption; her sensitivity ensures that this novel will appeal to anyone with a story to tell, a group that includes us all.