Friday, May 15, 2009

AM/PM by Amelia Gray (a review)

4 out of 5: AM/PM is a collection of 133 very short stories, each taking up no more than a single page. In concise and often brutal prose, these brief stories give surprisingly comprehensive glimpses into ongoing lives. Each story’s laser-beam focus on a single instant uncovers what’s really happening in the small moments of life, those moments that fit between two blinks of the eyes.

Because it’s nearly impossible to describe what Amelia Gray accomplishes in these stories, here are a couple examples:

There is a poetry to the wasted life, but little beauty. The poetry to an empty bed is beauty, Charles recognizes, and there is a poetry to the second hand on a clock, which is a kind of beauty, but the only beauty in the wasted life is of efficiency, and grace, and a complete knowledge of a small portion of the world. Charles recognizes the grace of a trip to the store. He feels the efficiency in slipping the same type of milk into the same place in the refrigerator door, between the pickles and the mayonnaise. Charles accepts the knowledge of the second hand.
The trap in the attic was catching some seriously large squirrels. Rats too, but Reginald didn’t want to frighten Olivia by telling her there were rats crawling up through the walls. He installed a humane trap, a kill trap, and a poison trap, and left it up to the vermin to make the choice for themselves.


Zibilee said...

Some of these excerpts have me intrigued. I think this would be the perfect book to read aloud. Thanks!

Zach Dodson said...

Amelia Gray in Houston!