I Survived Caracas Traffic: Stories from the Me Decades

Richard Grayson, Author Avisson Press Inc $21 (139p) ISBN 978-1-888105-04-9
Social tropes and individual types from the ``Me Decades'' (here, really just the late 1970s and early '80s) run through Grayson's eighth story collection. The stories are riddled with self-absorbed baby boomers, T-shirt slogans, Henry Kissinger, silicone implants, Saturday Night Live, the AIDS crisis, quarreling roommates and psychotherapists. Most are written in a flat first-person, but in others Grayson (Lincoln's Doctor's Dog) shows a sense of humor and an appreciation of the weird. The costs of survival in the AIDS retrospective title story, and the isolating entropy of depression in ``Where the Glacier Stops,'' manage to imbue their drained narrators with some emotional weight. On the whimsical side, ``Twelve Step Barbie'' sees the doll in a midlife crisis, and ``A Clumsy Story'' artfully diagrams and parodies MFA-quality fiction. But whatever Grayson's approach-whether the troublesome roommate is a Wisconsin Lutheran (``My Plan to Kill Henry Kissinger'') or the Pontiff (``With the Pope in Park Slope'')-most of his characters carry only a faded familiarity, not an invigorating shock of recognition. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X