Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ZYZZYVA/Cory Garfin/Jim Ruland/Flash Fiction Review

Nominating Editor: Howard Junker

ZYZZYVA is a 25-year-old triquarterly journal of West Coast writers & artists. In each issue we offer a handful of writers who are appearing in print for the first time.

I like Cory Garfin's debut story, "The Carousel," because it's sweet and unexpected and in the great tradition of George Saunders and the fabulous microcosm.

Nominated Flash Fiction: "The Carousel" - Cory Garfin

Reviewed by: Jim Ruland

Cory Garfin’s publishing debut is short and sweet – just like a ride on the carousel that is the centerpiece of this curious tale. A young man comes home to find that his parents have turned his bedroom into a carnival attraction. Baffled by their decision to install a carousel in his room so shortly after he’s left it, he returns to investigate but doesn’t get the homecoming he expects.

In just under 500 words, Garfin skillfully renders the young man’s family in vivid detail. It’s precisely the kind of high concept, absurdist drama that goes over well at readings. As an employee of Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Garfin likely has observed countless writers read from their work and he’s learned a thing or two about what works on the page as well as the stage.

In spite of its unusual premise, “The Carousel” is fairly conventional, earnest even, which makes it a bit of a throwback. While Garfin doesn’t leave the reader much to ponder once the music stops, he delivers an enjoyable ride.

Reviewer's Bio:

Jim Ruland is the author of the short story collection Big Lonesome and the host of Vermin on the Mount, an irreverent reading series in the heart of L.A.’s Chinatown.

Thanks for visiting Five Star Literary Stories and reading about this flash fiction.


bevjackson said...

I liked the story and I like the review too. Sort of catches the "what's going on at readings" vibe (that I don't get to see much anymore) and from a capable
author/reviewer who are in the know. Thanks!

Alicia said...

Loved this!

Ramon said...

Jim Ruland's concise review invites the reader to go on to a concise story. Both writers have command of the Micro fiction craft.

Antonios Maltezos said...

What a great story! That second graph begins just as perfectly as the first. A sure sign to keep reading.

Mary Akers said...

I love how everyone involved in this kept it short and sweet.