Fifty-Two Friday: Estrellas y Rascacielos By Justin Taylor

Title: Estrellas y Rascacielos by Justin Taylor.
Date Read: 18th February 2011
Briefly: A group of young anarchist band members drink to some undisclosed success, but it gradually becomes clear that rebellion is not the only thing on the mind of some members of the group.
Afterthoughts: Although the author’s prose is a little unusual at times it doesn’t detract from what is a very readable story. Taylor is genius in taking the jagged-edged theme of anarchy, and subtly softening it with a little bit of tenderness. Clever!
Notable Quote: He loved it when she sang the line he wrote with her name in it. She loved singing her own name. The bassist always said he wrote the line in homage to the great Spanish anarchists, such as whoever. Actually it was because he loved her. When she sang her own name as part of his lyric it was like she had let him name her.

Rating: ★★★★☆

This time last year…

Title: The Danger of Everything by Robin Antalek.
Date Read: 18th February 2011
Briefly: The story joins twenty-something Iris as she attempts to cope with the mental breakdown of her father, while dealing with her mother’s deepening obsession with trying to look for signs, no matter how small, that the father is regaining his sanity.
Afterthoughts: Although this story is long to the point of novella length, it’s well worth sticking with it. For your efforts you will be rewarded with a story that is intimate, endearing and wholly memorable. It’s the first time I’ve had the pleasure of reading any of Antalek’s fiction, but it certainly won’t be the last. She’s a wholly engaging writer who veyr much speaks from the heart.
Notable Quote: Funny thing about that phrase, setting the world on fire: that was exactly what my father told my mother when she asked him what the hell he was doing with gasoline and matches. He said: “Pearl, I want to set the world on fire.”

Rating: ★★★★★

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Every Friday the current week’s offering on Fifty-Two Stories is read and reviewed, along with the story that was presented at the same time, last year (2010). Fellow readers are encouraged to participate whenever possible, and to offer up their own opinions on each week’s featured stories.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).