Author: Felizon Vidad and Todd Taylor,
Publisher: Gorsky Press
Genre: Short Fiction
Retail Price: 8.00
Buy on Amazon.com link
I was initially apprehensive toward this collection of short stories. Packaged as something rebellious (“Punch and Pie” referring to La Resistance from the South Park movie), I assumed all the stories were about rebellious youth and punk rock, and I’m really too cynical to enjoy that type of fiction (I imagined a lot of Richard Allen hack writing).
Sometimes it’s good to be wrong. The 15 stories here differ wildly, except that they’re all highly readable and either fun or affecting. There’s a humorous redneck roadtrip, a sad look at an overage amateur porn model, a promising piece on tagging along on an urban exploration (lame ending), an extremely sweet column about the author’s grandfather, and interesting excepts from a travel diary of Belize.
It’s rarely the case, but true here: the editors also offer up the best contributions. Todd Taylor’s “A Foregone Contusion”, a touching and funny tale of old friendship, follows the quest of two men dedicated to making the world’s fastest lawnmower. But Felizon Vidad has the best piece in the book – an easily relatable story about being that friend-of-a-friend who’s dragged along to an outing with the friend’s other friends, and being the only one to see the lameness of the gaggle of idiots.
There are a few misses – James Jay and Seth Swaaley both have throwaway pieces that are tough-to-read and harder-to-care-about character sketches, and Travis Fristoe has a short but uninteresting frozen-moment snapshot of a party. But overall, this collection is worth its $8 and then some. The pieces mentioned are excellent, and the book succeeds in being the punch and pie that lures you to discover underground and up-and-coming writers.
Bottom Line: Good collection of short stories from indie writers.
Favorite Part(s): The editors’ own stories.