Dan Phillips's Reviews > Demons in the Spring

Demons in the Spring by Joe Meno
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's review
Jan 22, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011
Read from August 10 to September 22, 2011 — I own a copy

I enjoyed Meno's novel, Hairstyles of the Damned, so I thought I would give his short stories a try. I was not disappinted. A fair number of the pieces incorporate what I guess you'd call "magical realism" (though I'm not sure I have that right -- it's been a while since I was in college.) Stuff like people turning into clouds, and miniature cities growing inside peoples' chests. In the best cases, these twists in reality create a surprisingly touching effect, especially in the story "The Architecture of the Moon," where the moon disappears for no apparent reason, causing people to lose their sense of direction. A man tries to guide his father home through his directional fog...and it's hard to describe, but it was oddly moving, accent on "oddly." The more straightforward pieces usually focused on desperate characters. My favorite of these was "It Is Romance," where a romantically slighted high school teacher takes perhaps a little too much comfort in the model United Nations he's the director of at his school. This was maybe the best representation of the collection as a whole -- at times quirkily funny, but just as often unexpectedly heartfelt. Good stuff!

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