"A Hollow Cube is a Lonely Space" Book Review
Written by Gabino Iglesias
Published by Eraserhead Press
Written by S.D. Foster
2011, 108 pages pages, Fiction
Released on November 16th, 2011
A book that begins with a tale about the life and times of a clementine might sound like a joke, but S.D. Foster's A Hollow Cube is a Lonely Space is a serious tome in which Foster's literary prowess shines through bizarre short ficiton that's incredibly weird while remaining anchored in everyday occurrences. The 23 stories that make up the book range from the hilarious to the heartbreaking and touch on every emotion in between. Short and fast, the stories in A Hollow Cube is a Lonely Space read almost like a collection of fairy tales and fables for adults with a taste for uncanny prose with a literary slant.
The compilation kicks off with the aforementioned story and keeps rolling with "The Marvelous Head," a narrative about how we should learn to accept ourselves as we are. Up next, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Chimp" is a bizarro version of that classic story where someone from a small town goes to the big city in search of fame and fortune, only to have their dreams crushed. At once sad and funny, this one might hit too close to home for some people.
The way relationships deteriorate is explored wonderfully in "A Hollow Cube is a Lonely Space," a narrative in which space, love and fast food collide. Things keep rolling with "Matilda Goes Shopping," a story about how hard parenthood can be that begins with an entire grocery store raping a woman. When it comes to strange and meaningful, Foster never disappoints. Here are some other highlights:
- "Unbreakable" is the most heartbreaking story in the collection and hints and what Foster can accomplish when he sits down to write about things as serious as cancer.
- "The Assorted Suicides of Grover Grayson" is an outlandish and funny tale about a man who wants to die because he considers himself unremarkable. However, he can't kill himself no matter what he tries. Remarkable, isn't it?
- "Snowman" is sad and again explores the nature of relationships. In this case, there's a love triangle between a man, his wife and a snowman. There's some kinky carrot action here, so be prepared.
- "Mr. Rat" is a strange fable that brings together the pains of marital life and responsibility and explores the way we confront otherness. This one is probably the most poetic tale about rats you will ever read.
- "Silk Flowers" is about how parents always suffer when their children grow up. The narrative could be juxtaposed with the average American family and the resemblance would be amazing. This one is drenched with a graceful sadness that stays with the reader after the last word.
- "The (Not Quite) Corpse and the Stork" can only be called a Dickensian chronicle of a dead man looking for his place in the world with the help of a very kind bird.
S.D. Foster is bringing a unique voice to bizarro literature and this debut in the New Bizarro Author Series is solid proof of that. The short fiction in A Hollow Cube is a Lonely Space is as wide-ranging in subject matter as it is entertaining. Pick up a copy today.
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