THE NEW ORLEANS OF POSSIBILITIES: Stories by David Madden

THE NEW ORLEANS OF POSSIBILITIES: Stories

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Novelist Madden (Bijou, The Suicide's Wife) offers some solid anecdote-style stories here. ""The Cartridge Belt"" sketches in a rebellious, liberal soldier during the Fifties. ""The Fall of the House of Pearl"" presents adolescent fascination, Poe-style, with tawdry neighbors. ""Lindbergh's Rival"" is a man who has built an airplane in his garage. And there's also an experiment in fictional hypothesis: ""Looking at the Dead""--which explores the free will (and converse lack of it) of the imagination. Yeomanly as these pieces are, however, it is to three other stories you must turn in order to see Madden really exerting himself. ""A Part In Pirandello"" involves a college-scholarship basketball star whose sexuality is toyed with--by a professor who coerces the boy into playing a woman in a campus play. ""In The Bag"" is a Bunuel-ian superimposition of theater upon everyday occurence. And the title story is best of all: a businessman browsing through a bin of old snapshots in a New Orleans flea market finds first one, then another, then another photo of himself--mysterious photos (who took them? when?), suggesting that someone has been keeping track of this man's life. True, the old-photo story is by now a contemporary chestnut, but Madden twists it around a little here and comes up with a resonant, involving tale--the clear standout in an uneven but strong and talented collection.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1982
Publisher: Louisiana State Univ. Press