― ―: A Novel
By: Wade Parrish - Zer0 Books, $13.95
Description: - - is a blank city.
There’s a sick glow to the clouds, and it always seems to be raining here even when it isn’t. Only sad and wounded people live here anymore. They are homeless in their apartments. They are unemployed at their jobs. They are widows in their marriage beds and celibates in amours and loners with many friends because - - is a sad city, full of sad and lonely people.
Verdict: The preface continues: I can’t say very much about myself now, only that we have known each other before and for a very short, very slight while. We had a class together and I grew up down the block and our mothers say hello still from time to time in the aisles of a grocery store somewhere north of Tampa.
Somewhere deep in Maryland. Somewhere down in Solano County. Somewhere out where the winds never seem to change and the days tick by like cars on a beltway. Things have not worked out for me in life as they may have for you.
I have seen your visions of this world flickering on the outsides of my eyelids for a very long time and now and for many other reasons, I cannot stand to see them anymore.
In what is a most, at times, haunting-stark story, bestowed throughout with various characters - some benign, some cathartic to the narrative, and some simply, and expressively mysterious - we follow along on the words of a (possibly) untrustworthy narrator.
Sprinkled with endless amounts of surrealism and peculiarly curious observations, at times ― ―: A Novel comes across as it we are ourselves wafting gently through a dreamlike state, guiding by the aforementioned voice of the narrator; who, at all times, tells the story their way (one assumes, no matter what they see or come across).
That all said, and written during the pandemic, the book has a feeling, and ebb and flow to it, a claustrophobic element to it, if you will, that we have all, one way or another, experienced ourselves over the past two years or so.
Parrish’s words, sentences, paragraphs are easily spoken, chat-like, never forthrightly expelled just for the sake of juxtaposition or a need for a new scene to spring forth.
In closing, ― ―: A Novel is an easy read, in and unto its novel self, but what you eventually take from it is all down to you, and how attached you become to the narrator and their observational dictations.
About the Author - Wade Parrish was raised in Louisville, Kentucky around horses and horticulture. He wrote — — while living in New York at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. He now lives in Boston, Massachusetts where he studies law.
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