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Visit Me in California: Stories

Visit Me in California: Stories - Cooley Windsor The gentle, rolling cadence of Cooley Windsor's short stories sounds more like poetry than prose. His rhythm and subject matters remind me of that of poet laureate Louise Gluck in Meadowlands. Like Gluck, Windsor takes characters from myths of the past and turns them into familiar friends and their stories into something new. You meet the carpenter that built the Trojan Horse, you find that the snakes on Medusa's head like reading magazines and trying to unsuccessfully copulate, you learn that Achilles' one weakness wasn't really his weakness at all, and you meet an Hebrew boy during the exodus from Egypt that likes to do impersonations of Moses and his miracles. But then Windsor also writes more contemporary stories that pack a bit of mind-pleasing, dream-like strangeness in them. There's the father who is teaching his children how to hide among the dead bodies of war by taking them to his butcher shop at night and the lady who tells her family that she had a baby only to later turn up with a marionette instead of a baby cradled in her arms.

All of these stories are like short little strange glimpses into the lives of famous characters you only thought you knew or regular people living in slightly off-kilter realities. Windsor's sentences are very precise and effective; every one is a small gem.I could have easily sat down and read all 123 pages at once, but this is the type of book you want to read bit by bit so that you can savor the images and words you find in it.

Note: While I critique both purchased and free books in the same way, I'm legally obligated to tell you I received this book free through the Amazon Vine program in return for my review. Blah blah blah.