The Gothic Twilight

Stephen-Paul Martin, Author Leaping Dog Press $8.95 (92p) ISBN 978-1-878580-45-0
The America depicted in this downbeat and very brief collection of stories by Martin ( The Flood ) is a country out of kilter. Characters are bounced around like balls in a pinball machine, never finding a place of rest, unable to form relationships or meaningfully interact with one another. In one story, a man and a woman afflicted with a ``talking disorder'' chatter incessantly with an almost pathological need to hear the sound of their own voices and are incapable of listening to others. In still another, the self-absorbed love between a man and a woman merely provides a context to hide from the world. Most of these stories are short and punchy. The only longer story, however, is arguably Martin's best. In it, a filmmaker attempting to create a piece about 500 years of racism and genocide in the U.S. is forced by his producer into making an MTV video with Columbus and George Bush as rock musicians. Past and present, film and reality swirl together like in some hallucinogenic nightmare. Although Martin produces some compelling fiction, overly convoluted and lengthy sentences and some glaring inconsistencies (even within the world he creates) ultimately detract from the book's power. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 08/01/2005
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