STORIES FROM THE TUBE by Matthew Sharpe

STORIES FROM THE TUBE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Debut collection that aims straight at the MTV-generation in its appropriation of television adspeak as a narrative principle. The ten stories here are mostly coming-of-age tales dealing with the difficulties of family relations and personal identity, concentrating especially on misunderstandings between parents and children. ""Tide"" describes a mother's discomfort at her daughter's apparent maturity, a fear symbolized by the mother's concern over the girl's first menstruation. ""Rose in the House"" evokes the domestic havoc wrought by a dying woman's decision to move in with her son's family, recounting the bond the women forms with her adolescent grandson (who is as uneasy around his own parents as they are around his grandmother). ""Bridesmaids"" depicts a 25-year-old bridesmaid's impending sense of fear over the pace and course of her own life, while ""Doctor Mom"" introduces us to a young physician who practices medicine from her own home. Some more or less surreal entries crop up--such as ""The Woman Who"" (a woman turns into Marilyn Monroe during a film screening) and ""A Bird Accident"" (the murder of Charlie Parker by a deranged automobile). All the stories open with prologues taken from TV commercials (the detergent commercial for ""Tide,"" for example) intended apparently to set the tone of the action and reflect on its significance. Unremarkable Mommy-and-me pieces, tarred up with postmodern pretensions. Too clever by half.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1998
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Villard