Two more enticing Nightjar Press story pamphlets (2015)
THE WOMAN WHO LIVED IN A RESTAURANT by Leone Ross
LAST CHRISTMAS by John D Rutter
My previous reviews of this publisher HERE
When I review these works, my comments will be found in the the thought stream below or by clicking on this post’s title above.
THE WOMAN WHO LIVED IN A RESTAURANT
by Leone Ross
“She has been somebody.”
Does that mean she has been somebody special and now just an ordinary woman? Or she is now somebody (or something) else?
You need to wait until the end of this story to discover the answer to that.
This story, too, develops, from apparent whimsical absurdity towards a meaningful metaphor for existence by means of culinary peculiarities, restaurant politics, the art of love, graphic lust, personal status, adventuring of body parts, the nature of architecture – a surreal truth that, as a gestalt, cunningly seems, at least for a the duration of a brief earthquake, nearer to reality than reality itself.
I have heard of women setting themselves up in hotels for their whole lives, but there they at least have an ensuite room of their own, and room service. Here the woman sits at a restaurant table and uses the normal customer facilities for ablutions etc. We are told her backstory and consequent relationships with various members of the restaurant staff, and the deadpan use of smart-tufted words keeps her situation between the margins of a kind reader’s believability. An eventually original experience, worth enjoying.
I look up, towards these words, as if making literary decisions.
The restaurant has been something.
Copy 11 of a signed limited edition of 200.
by John D Rutter
“Nat King Cole is singing on the radio about kids from one to ninety-two.”
As I began to work out the ‘rationale’ of this story, I realised that I couldn’t explain it in this brief review because that would have spoiled the enjoyment of gradually working it out for other readers. If the concept is, as I believe, original to this story, it is certainly noteworthy as such and worth reading for that alone. Eminently anthologisable.
I am still trying to work out the logistics of childbirth for poor Fiona. I loved the touches of a British Christmas and its Aickman-like feel (but I can’t specify which Aickman stories for fear of potential spoilers). I simply sympathise with the grandparents, because I am more than old enough to be one. Perhaps I’m lucky. Just one stray cork short of a celebration.
This also presents a neat complement to the ‘architecture’ and whimsical absurdity made believable by the other Nightjar pamphlet, reviewed above.
Copy 10 of a signed limited edition of 200.