Monday, October 6, 2008

The Drowned Life-Jeffrey Ford

The Drowned Life
Jeffrey Ford
Harper, Nov 4 2008, $$13.95
ISBN: 9780061435065

This is an excellent sixteen story collection that runs the gamut from sci fi to surreal to realism while following the travails of everyday people forced (sometimes by their choices and sin some instances by those of others) down dark paths. All are well written with several sensationally poignant and haunting as drowning (not necessarily in water) serves as a metaphor of life. The opening tale The Drowned Life (same as book title) sets the quality bar of excellence as it seems so allegorically apropos with people unable to financially float when sharks chase them until they start drowning but end up in an underwater city that no one escapes. Another example of a life drowning is “Night Whiskey”; following an annual gala, two men wake up peers sleeping off a magical brew in trees. Others are just as weird yet each provides a symbolic look at people drowning in spite of seemingly doing everything allegedly right.

Harriet Klausner

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