Chantal's Reviews > Demonology: Stories

Demonology by Rick Moody
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's review
Sep 17, 2010

really liked it

I can’t remember which literary publication called, last spring, for submissions for their upcoming list-themed issue. The editors were inviting lists of all sorts, anything from grocery lists to bucket lists that might be entertaining to read, claiming that we all love a good list. Lists as literature; surely, Rick Moody is at the foundation of this. Approximately one third of his almost three hundred page collection, Demonology, is a list of some sort or other.
I scribbled myself a reminder of the submissions deadline and tacked it to my bulletin board, alongside my list of books to read this term; my list of books read this term; my list of favorite words; my list of favorite quotes; my list of potential character names; my list of potential story ideas; a list of potential places to submit my stories; a list of publications who had rejected my stories, etc. And I listed on this scribbled reminder my submission ideas for the list-issue: a trio of grocery lists to comment on the various phases of a marriage; a list of the men I slept with and the reasons why, to chronicle my life; a list of the things a mother says to a daughter in a single day, or a single life; a list of all the dogs I’ve had; a list of favorite foods; a list of all my dead dreams; a list of lists, to-do lists—you get the idea--although I imagine you’re a little bored by now.
I, too, became a little bored in reading Rick Moody’s collection, particularly the stories that were formed more of lists than narrative, the worst, in my opinion, being “Wilkie Fahnstock: The Boxed Set” and “Surplus Value Books: Catalogue Number 13.”
That being said, I read Moody’s “Boys” three times, once out loud to my husband, for the sheer pleasure of the rhythm of this list of the experiences of a set of twin boys entering their home and growing into men, and the immense emotion that Moody managed to capture in this list. And, I need to admit that I’ve added “Boys” to my own short list of favorite short stories.

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