Review of "Send Krupac Through the Portal," a single story in a collection by Tony Rauch
Summary:A man comes home to discover a Bigfoot-like creature watching his tv, a giant robot pays a visit to a couple, a new kid has some unusual toys to share, an inventor creates a gorgeous robot in order to meet women, a girl becomes so ill she has her head replaced with a goat head, someone wakes to discover little eyes growing all over his body, small, hairy creatures come looking to retrieve an object they had misplaced, and a boy finds an unusual pair of sunglasses in the weeds. These are the whimsical, surreal adventures of Tony Rauch.
**May Contain Spoilers**
This story has the effortless ease about it that one gets from an author that has been writing for awhile and knows his "writing voice." It's both entertaining and whimsical. Outlandish ideas seem like perfectly reasonable solutions.
Since the summary does not cover this particular story's plot, I will briefly recap. It's about a man that has been rejected by the woman he loves. So with the help of his friend he discovers that there are way to access parallel universes where everyone is the same but they may be leading different lives due to variations on past life decisions. So our protagonist naturally wants to find a reality where he and his love are able to be together.
This story was so, so good right up until the very end. I couldn't help but feel like I was left a little unfulfilled. I'm all for allowing the reader to finish the story in their head. I think those make some of the best short stories. However, in order for this to happen I have to have enough pieces to try and fit together. "Send Krupac" gives you most of the information but not quite enough to draw reasonable conclusions in my opinion.
But the fact that I had to brood over this plot and probably have a fun time debating the way it ends says something about the quality of work. I think that Rouch is definitely an author worth checking out. I did not get a chance to read the other works in the collection but if they are as charming is "Send Krupac," you're in for a treat.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez