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Visit Me in California by Cooley Windsor

Visit Me in California

by Cooley Windsor

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A fun collection that touches on quirky. The longer stories (er, the more "regular sized" i should say) did more to keep me reading then the many short short pieces. But I'm not a fan of much flash fiction, if that's what this is. Worth checking out if you like short fiction and Greek literature (which is referenced often). ( )
  evanroskos | Mar 30, 2013 |
In the case of Cooley Windsor's short story collection, the strengths are the stories which give a twist to old myths. (The contemporary stories are, I think, less successful) I was hooked with the very first, "The Last Israelite in the Red Sea", a warning to laggards! But I was really impressed by the section, "The Art of War", in which Windsor retells the events of the Trojan War from the viewpoint of Homer, Paris, and some characters who never appear in the Iliad, as well as his take on a number of bible stories.
1 vote lilithcat | Aug 4, 2008 |
To some Cooley Winder's stories will be 'just the ticket'. He's got a very specific style and wit which I can see could be appealing. But to me this book was like watching an episode of 'The Office' if you don't like the style of humor. Winder's stories are biblicaly obsessive, self deprecating and wacked. But I just didn't connect with them and found this short book a chore to get through. I much prefer The Cantor's Daughter: Stories by Scott Nadelson for real quality short stories and Oedipus Wrecked by Kevin Keck for wacked tales. ( )
  gkleinman | Jul 25, 2008 |
The best books give you a glimpse of a different perspective. I loved this collection of short (sometimes very short!) stories. I have 2 quibbles - one that the stories seemed to be grouped in two eras - the ancient world, and 20th century America, and I would have liked it if they had been grouped together rather than jumping back and forth. You get used to reading about ancient Greece, and then the next story is set in a supermarket, and then it's back to ancient Greece again. I would have liked all the ancient stories together. And secondly - the title is meaningless and misleading. I wish they had thought of a better one, because this one gives no indication what the book is about.

But the stories are wonderful! If it's Homer lamenting that his blindness makes him unwelcome at court, and how the actors say his words better than he can, or the gay man who feels guilty about giving his friends ashes back to his mother (and gives such a wonderful description of the mother) the stories are rich with nuance and life, and an appreciation of the quirkiness that makes us human, whether today or 3,000 years ago, the fundamentals remain the same.

I enjoyed all the stories and will remember many of them! ( )
1 vote amf0001 | Jun 29, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0810124963, Paperback)

Deftly moving between the comic and the tragic, the sacred and the profane, this collection of short stories is populated by modern children, ancient poets, dying men, and your basic, mundane Greek gods. Windsor turns familiar stories from the Bible and from myth inside out, exploring the feelings of minor characters and looking at events from imaginative perspectives. His prose is rich with detail and emotion and he touches on themes of art and artifice, success and failure, family and its sacrifices, and expectations met or missed.

     In “The Last Israelite in the Red Sea,” a follower of Moses who dallies during their Exodus finds it more difficult to walk across the bottom of the temporarily displaced Red Sea without shoes. “Four of the Times My Sister Cried” follows a young narrator as his family rehearses for his mother’s death and then, as they must, lives without her. The wry “The Art of War” has characters from Homer to a courtesan talking shop about the battle of Troy from their perspectives. Set as a series of short pieces, “The Fleshly School of Poetry” tells of lessons learned and lessons taught. With its explorations of expectations, “Meet the Author” gives readers intimate portraits of various plans or coping mechanisms people put up when death draws close. “The End of the World” approaches the Rapture with a humorously practical spin: wouldn’t the angels need a plan to ensure that it goes smoothly?  “In Parting” explores some of the troubles with family, especially when a sister’s child turns out to be a marionette. The geographically explicit “Three Mediums in San Francisco” touches on frustrated and imagined eroticism. The collection ends with “The Hilton Epiphany,” a fitting closer in which divinity comes to an unlikely person in an unlikely place.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:45 -0400)

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