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Howard and Charles at the Factory
In this darkly funny novella, two aging men arrive at their old factory to wait for their jobs to come back, believing the promises of Donald Trump's campaign. In a pair of lawn chairs, they keep watch over the abandoned site, echoing the president's words and weathering the disorientation that follows, from visions of a dinosaur and a hovering UFO to the opportunistic vio ...more
Paperback, 94 pages
Published January 2020 by Outpost19
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I read the acknowledgments at the end before starting the story wherein the author thanks his wife for bearing with him as he fumed etc after the 2016 election. Turning to the first page, these characters and the situation seemed to naturally evolve from an experiment in empathy, trying to write from the perspective of two old white male western PA Trump supporters. It's a deep third-person POV, accessing an unreliable and possibly age-afflicted mind, but I preferred to read it as a really slant ...more
Some of the best fiction — or writing in general — I've read in response to the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath. The two main characters, Howard and Charles, are a bit like the cast of Stewart O'Nan's Last Night at the Lobster, i.e., working class people trying to maintain some dignity while watching the options for their futures closing before them. But they're also selfish and absurd in the manner of Magnus Mills' The Restraint of Beasts, and I really appreciated and enjoyed that ...more
Other than its surreal touches, this novella didn’t go far enough away from the expected to make this Waiting for Trumpot as good as it could have been, and the surreal touches didn’t work for me. The book felt too much like a getting off one’s chest, saved by a few clever ideas, good writing, and short length.
Incredible work from Housley here. The darkest truth present in this work is surely the one we are left with: that they will die for their hatred and resentment. It will kill them, surely, but they’ll also die for it. There is an overwhelming sadness that comes from this truth and realization and one that Housley expertly conveys through both the characters of Howard and Charles. There is something about change and evolution, about the need for introspection and reflection, about admitting that ...more
Dave Housley's fourth collection of short fiction, Massive, Cleansing Fire, a series of linked stories that all end in a massive, cleansing fire, will be published by Outpost 19 Press in Spring 2017. He is the author of If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home (Dzanc Books), Commercial Fiction (Outpost 19), and Ryan Seacrest is Famous (Impetus Press, Dzanc Books eBook Reprint). His work has appear ...more
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