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What I Want to Tell Goes Like This: Stories.

What I Want to Tell Goes Like This: Stories

Matt Rader

Nightwood Editions

Box 1779, Gibsons, BC, Canada, V0N 1V0

9780889713062, $21.95,

What I Want to Tell Goes Like This: Stories actually comes from a poet, and is the first short story collection he's attempted ... and it shows; not because the stories aren't effective, but because the evocative metaphorical power of a poet is evident in description and atmosphere: "Landusky was new and had been pumped into being by the succubus of gold. The cavalry was called in to keep the peace among the dreamers."

One of the stories in this volume, "All This Was a Long Time Ago," won the 2014 Jack Hodgins Founders' Award for fiction from The Malahat Review, while others have appeared scattered in various publications--so if the name and stories of Matt Rader initially sound familiar, you may have seen some of them before.

They share a sense of place (the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, BC.), a particular focus (labor experiences and regional struggles), and timelines that range from decades prior to modern day (the latter can be somewhat confusing until this is realized and appreciated for the contrasting opportunities it presents).

From controversial experiences such as a union leader's assassination to sexual violence, it's evident that these sometimes-bleak sagas are not for the light-hearted reader seeking entertainment, but for the introspective poetic heart looking for life stories of angst, challenge, social confrontation and recovery.

Under Rader's hand this world comes to life--and perhaps because of his poetic roots, experiences are not just defined, but steeped in atmosphere. So casual short story readers seeking basic entertainment need not look here: these are remarkable, gritty stories of life's dangers, confrontations, and close encounters. As such, readers who enjoy accounts of survival and social inspection will love their focus and depth.

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Publication:California Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2015
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