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THE RETURN OF COUNT ELECTRIC by William Browning Spencer


and Other Stories

by William Browning Spencer

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-877946-27-3
Publisher: Permanent Press

 A first collection of 11 short stories, many with a Rod Serling-like twist, together with an introduction by Spencer (Maybe I'll Call Anna, 199) that laments the present-tense minimalist state of the literary short story. ``The Return of Count Electric'' is about a narrator who searches in his father's house for a death machine, thinking his father is a serial murderer; instead, he discovers that he himself is the murderer and, once he remembers, begins again his career of crime. ``The Wedding Photographer in Crisis'' concerns a Bill Murray kind of guy who forces a groom to go through with the wedding and films the bride topless. Spencer's antic side is more effective than his Twilight Zone stories: ``The Entomologists at Obala,'' for example, is a biting satire about two naturalists battling it out in a South American rain forest over whose endangered species is the more important--one shoots wasps, and the other takes spiders hostage. ``Looking Out For Eleanor,'' at near novella-length, uses multiple voices and a complex social tapestry to tell the blackly humorous saga of a social worker obsessed with rescuing an attractive client by following her and her seedy boyfriends to Florida. Stories that mostly manage to be otherworldly and strange without turning into horror fiction or mere trots.