Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Review of "Argentina," a single story from a collection by Guy J. Jackson
In this collection of rare, hard-to-find, and often too-short short "stories", Guy J. Jackson wields his not particularly helpful but still relatively charming (at least compared to being chased) worldview in order to pretty much study and correct all of humanity's foibles, or at least the ones that need correcting by the end of this year. Also, if you read these "stories" at the rate of one per day, you'll feel Zen for however many days that there are "stories", or so claimed Roundfire Books' late editorial assistant, Nils Samuels Chastain, even though it wasn't his place to decide that.
One word came to mind as I read "Argentina": rambling. The entire story consists of a protagonist lamenting over the general ban the world has placed on smoking with a small side order of remorse about his misspent twenties.
Too be fair, I'm not a huge fan of the rambling style. I know it works for a lot of readers, just not for me. But it felt especially out of place in so short a story. "Argentina" is less than 1,000 words. When working with fiction that short every word needs to count. There's no room for rambling.
I could see how a piece like this might be the kind of story that works better as part of a collection. On its own it seemed to lack direction.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
Buy this collection on Amazon.