Friday, October 28, 2011

Gigantic / by Marc Nesbitt

A black laborer and his partner work are hired at the home of a wealthy white Southern businessman only to find out that their "job" is to pose as a human lawn ornament during an especially odd party. Things get even more strange when the man's daughter's sexual misadventures turn violent. Then a downtrodden mattress salesman in his thirties witnesses an especially gruesome car accident up close, a shocking event sending him spiraling toward a new revelation concerning his relationship with his father. A young man has kept his imaginary girlfriend from childhood throughout his life only to find out how unstable his "companion" becomes when he betrays her. When sanitation worker is summoned to pick up roadkill on an isolated highway only to endure a life-threatening incident which terrorizes him to his core.

Nesbitt's little collection of short stories, while very different, is as thoroughly engrossing as it is peculiar. His sentences, descriptions and metaphors, especially his metaphors, are something to behold. Or at least something to take note of. "We stand there watching the quiet between our faces." "Snow drops in bright white pieces like the stars are crumbling." 'Her hand jerks like a leather spider." "The train whispers something about distance." It's not hard to see why some of the literary world's more eclectic figures have praised the work immensely. It's an arresting worldview that Nesbitt imbues, an uncommonly vague yet poetically engendering place where troubled, bemused and disenfranchised young men dwell in a sort-of demented whirlpool of outcomes. And while nearly all of the protagonists are unnamed, you get the sense of that being the intended objective of the author: it's an everyman's kind of insane world. (FIC NESBITT)

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