Book: An Evening Performance: New and Selected Stories
Author: George Garrett
Published: 1985 (Penguin)
Where has this guy been hiding? Seriously, this book from the bargain bin of a used book store is the first time I’ve heard of him and it’s got like 100 short stories that are all at least good with quite a few that are transcendent.
He does best when pitting weirdos against a collected group (small town, usually) and they expect different things or levels of fulfillment. He also does really well with military stories, using false bravado to show the absurdity of war by exposing the gap between what a soldier does and how he feels about it and how he shows that.
The one place he stumbles is in the domestic sphere. Those stories feel like he’s trying to shoehorn too much meaning into too slight themes, and that makes it go melodramatic.
So but all of it’s worth reading. Bookshelf!