Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let Slip the Dogs of Love by Eugene Kachmarsky

I finished this book a few days ago and I've had to let what I've read whirl around in my head for a while before I could sit down and write a review.

I received this book from the author after he sent a email asking if I would want to read/review it. I must say the email was a little hyper and glowing of his own work so I was a little hesitant at first, but eventually gave in. I'm so glad I did.

This is a collection of short stories which for the most part are independent of each other. There are a few that go to together but not in the traditional way.

I was trying to decide if I wanted to discuss all the stories or just a few of them. While I liked the vast majority of them, there were two that I absolutely loved.

The first one is "Celsius 232.7". It had such a Twilight Zone, Tales From the Darkside vibe to it that I couldn't get enough of it and when the story ended I wanted to know what happened after the cliffhanger. Zen is a junkie, but not in the traditional sense. He lives in a reality that outlaws physical copies of anything that can be digitally reproduced. Books, CDs, DVDs, records, audio and videotapes, board games, playing cards, and I would assume art works are all illegal to own. So the drug dealers become book dealers and those who can't do without holding a book in their hands (like me) are turned into junkies, breaking the law everywhere they go. The story reminded me of the movie Equilibrium which I loved as well.

The second story I'm absolutely in love with was "A Moment in the Absence of Hate". It was the story of two fifth graders in a Toronto middle school. Didi is a Punjabi girl from India and Danny is a Ukrainian immigrant. Two outcasts who get picked on for their differences whether it's skin color, accent, or culture. They not only find and help each other but they heal each other in both heart and body. This was a touching story and brought a sense of peace to me while I was reading it.

This collection of stories ranges in style and scope and I encourage anyone who gets a chance to read them to do so.

Synopsis From The Back Cover:

In an urban legend style of storytelling flavored with magical realism, Let Slip the Dogs of Love blends together a thought-provoking collage of mesmeric short stores that grips your full attention by flinging widely open a few of the infinite portals of perception and awareness to consider why we feel the things we do. The intertwined tapestry of stores reveals the sublime, ridiculous, triumphant and tragic ways in which ordinary people deal with the often extraordinary consequences of their choices and actions. Rapidly and frequently changing pace and rhythm, taking both gentle curves and sudden, unexpected hairpin-turns at full centripetal forces, these ironic and karmic accounts tell tales of love, crime, poverty, tragedy, greed and evil in a thoughtful, sometimes playfully humorous, youthful voice as they delve with wonder into the depths that lie beneath the surface of all things in a quiet, sleepy metropolitan suburb.


Laurel-Rain Snow said...

This actually has piqued my interest! Story collections are a difficult sell for me, but every once in awhile, there comes a potpourri of intriguing tales that are unforgettable.

This sounds like one of those!

Krista said...

Oh, I just love short stories!!! I'll have to try it. Thank you for the wonderful review, Ryan!

Alyssa Kirk said...

I haven't been into short stories before but I think I need to change my policy. This sounds very interesting!

Ryan said...

Laurel, Normally I don't go in for a short story collection either, but this one sounded interesting and I was not let down. Though there were some that were just OK, I didn't dislike any of them.

Krista, You are more than welcome. I think this book would appeal to you.

Alyssa, This may be a collection that you might like. Now I will say there is some rather strong language in some of the stories.

Elena said...

Ohh I love the title of the second story, in the absence of hate - very intriguing.

Short stories usually only appeal to me if I'm in the mood for them, but it's good to know which ones to go for when I feel like a nibble of a read.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I've been enjoying short stories lately; I'm glad to see more and more collections out there.

I love the cover of this book - it reminds me of one of those heat-sensing images.