January 20, 2009

Review by Rebecca Ellis

ALABAMA STEVE
by Karyna McGlynn

Destructible Heart Press
P.O. Box 257
Albuquerque, NM
ISBN: 978-1-934415-20-7
2008, 45 pp., $10.00
www.destructibleheart.com

This is not easy stuff. Sure, it’s just a chapbook. Sure, it’s entertaining. On the surface—and sometimes under the surface—it’s light and funny with dazzling bright edges and breathtaking leaps. The writing is surprisingly dense, layered with history and mystery that at times require you to dig deep in order to experience the full effect of what’s going on. You’re going to have to work hard to get at the writing and much of the wit in this chapbook.

But you’re going to have a really really good time doing it.

Alabama Steve is a series of flash fictions that hop irreverently through the Western literary cannon, deflating everyone from Robert Lowell to Beowulf, punching little holes in class pretensions and literary tradition, and especially academia and MFA programs. McGlynn’s language pops and surprises and enlightens even as it twists your shorts in a knot.

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