Sunday, October 7, 2012

They Had Goat Heads by D. Harlan Wilson

"I go to a movie and notice that I'm starring in it. I don't remember shooting the movie, let alone auditioning for the part. I am not an actor." -- D. Harlan Wilson, from "The Movie That Wasn't There"

They Had Goat Heads is a masterpiece of the surreal. It's the kind of short fiction collection that hangs together perfectly. Each story is brilliant on its own, but together they resonate beautifully. Wilson blends micro, flash, and short stories to great effect.

The result is chaos--a world where you no idea which way is up or down. You expect to be assaulted by elbows, giraffes, and monster trucks. At the same time. Or at separate times.

Summarizing the plots of these stories is pointless. It's safe to say that you'll go for a strangely pleasing ride in each.

Instead, I'll drop in some random lines:

"'Dad's dead,' said my father. 'I better put him in the freezer.'" -- from "Fathers & Sons"

"Timeless lint blizzards should be wrangled and punished with the same efficiency and enthusiasm as cautious men. The fact is...

...Lithuanian tourists cannot be trusted." -- from "The Kerosene Lantern Tour"

"When he finished telling the story, he left my office.

He came back, told me the same story, and left again.

He cam back again and told the story over, pausing to emphasize the importance of attention-grabbing introductions.

He left.

He came back a forth time and told the story over, twice, back to back." -- from "The Storyteller"

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