One hundred deftly written short stories, originally published in the United Kingdom in 2005.
Set in a quiet college town in upstate New York, the stories are each less than a page long. In the introduction, we learn that the narrator is a 47-year-old unemployed man who, while taking walks, turns his life’s memories into tales. Some of the pieces feel like they have been cribbed from real life and some are obviously products of a fertile imagination. They can lean toward the macabre: “Copycats” unravels a student’s inexplicable suicide, while “The Cement Mailbox” deadpans the tragic consequences of local tomfoolery. For the most part, though, the offerings are darkly funny, barely believable, but always readable slices of life.
A sly collection of bar stories and fables from Lennon (Castle, 2009, etc.), who’s learned to be crafty with his storytelling.