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Bad Monkey

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  25 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Utilizing luminous prose and scintillating imagery, Curtis Smith plunges his readers into the company of lovers and murderers, false prophets and mute believers, Russian mobsters and one very bad monkey. In these fourteen stories, Smith breathes life into a host of damaged hearts and then unflinchingly exposes the wonders and horrors lurking within each. Read BAD MONKEY an ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published August 14th 2009 by Press 53 (first published August 1st 2009)
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Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for LIterature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

As I've mentioned here many times before, I'm not much of a fan of story collections, and in fact don't particularly care for short fiction in general, mostly because of the wispy nature of the format to begin with; it seems in fact like every time I finally reach the point of getting emotionally inv
Sep 13, 2009 Ben rated it it was amazing
Early on it seems to have a violent Little Odessa thing going for it, but that's not really what's happening here, yes, there is violence, but there is also pathos, sadness and triumph too. In fact, it took me a little while to see how these pieces hang together overall, but then it hit me, collectively these are stories about family, how we make them, how they implode and how no matter what we just want to hold onto them in some fashion despite what common sense ought to be telling us. I should ...more
Jason Jordan
Feb 03, 2010 Jason Jordan rated it liked it
"Bad Monkey, a 153-page collection of realist fiction, is Curtis Smith’s sixth book. From the outset, it’s evident that the author is skilled and experienced, because 'The Girl in the Halo,' a story about a missing person, is rich in specific detail, description, and narrative know-how. Interestingly, while the piece sets the somber tenor of the compilation, it’s also in second person. Is it an effective lead-in? Yes and no. Though it has many positive qualities, as mentioned above, if you’ve re ...more
Dec 23, 2009 Tara rated it it was amazing
This collection will go down as a favorite for me. Starting each new story by Smith is like getting on a carnival ride--you have that mix of excitement and anticipation and a bit of delicious fear about where the ride will take you. The opening story, "The Girl in the Halo," is one of the most subtly rendered, haunting stories I've ever read.
Jacquie Bennett
Sep 17, 2011 Jacquie Bennett rated it did not like it
Truly terrible, i threw it in the bin half way through, woudln't even give it to the charity shop.
Nov 11, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
Just picked this up when I saw the author, Curtis Smith at a conference, but so far is is a great collection. "The Girl in the Halo" is an especially powerful story.
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