Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Another Perfect Catastrophe, by Brad Barkley

I’ve been something of a fan of Brad Barkley’s work since I heard him read at the Virginia Festival of the Book a couple of years ago. His novel, Alison’s Automotive Repair Manual, which he read from on that occasion, was terrific--funny as hell, but about real issues. So I was looking forward to hearing him at the Festival again this year when I saw him on the schedule but, unfortunately, he wasn’t able to come. His latest book was there, though, so I picked up Another Perfect Catastrophe, a 2004 collection of stories. The title story is fantastic, about a 35 year old who is still hanging out with his best high school buddy, despite being in love with a gorgeous young woman. The buddy is something of a sculptor and each piece is entitled “Perfect Catastrophe,” so that the piece he is working on at any given moment is always “Another Perfect Catastrophe.”

The final story in the collection is also terrific. Beneath the Deep, Slow Motion previously appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review.


Chris Duncan said...

Hey Cliff--

Did you know that Brad is Susan Perabo's "reader"? I haven't read the collection you're talking about (but now I will), but I did read "Money, Love," and I thought it was good.

:) Chris

Clifford Garstang said...

That would explain the thanks to her in the acknowledgments, and the blurb by her on the back. But no, I didn't know that. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I read "Beneath the Deep Slow Motion" in the New Stories of the South (2002) and had forgotten how much I liked it. Thanks for the reminder about him--I'll look for the collection. Pam P

Katie said...

Thanks for the recommendation!