You Want More: Selected Stories of George Singleton

George Singleton. Hub City, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-1-938235-69-6
Singleton (Calloustown) brings together his best work along with one new story in this smashing collection that combines satire, tragicomic premises, and small-town South Carolina locales. Items as innocuous as caulk or a VHS tape become the focus of droll yet moving meditations on the foibles of modern life or the misery of a marriage’s disintegration. Dogs are as ever-present as bumbling, misfit divorced men spouting barnyard humor. Hilarious character studies, Singleton’s crowning achievement, shine in such stories as “Show-and-Tell,” in which a single father clumsily attempts to woo his son’s teacher, who also happens to be his original high school sweetheart; or the hapless husband who records “Bonanza” over his wife’s sonogram, then attempts to find a substitute tape from a local barfly; or the former child actor in “This Itches, Y’all” who is haunted by an instructional film he’d starred in about head lice. The college professor who fools everyone by teaching a semester of “The Novels of Raymond Carver,” despite the author having never written one, also delights. The charismatic dialogue consistently adds depth and identity to the characters (“I said, ‘Are you a drinking man, Mr. Mack Morris Murray? Let’s you and me go inside and partake of some schnapps I got holed up for a special occasion. I like your style, man’”). Fans and newcomers alike will rejoice in reading these highlights from a Southern literary master. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/07/2020
Release date: 09/15/2020
Genre: Fiction
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