RavePloughsharesIn many ways this book resembles a river, always moving, constantly changing, but with steady force sufficient to grind stone into sand. Like water, these stories dance through—not around—their subject matter, seeping into every crack and crevice, making connections in one scene and dissolving them in the next. Reading this collection feels like looking at the world through water—the angles don’t quite match what you expect and the light is diffuse, except when a ripple catches it and momentarily robs you of vision. Joffre’s characters are wispy and insubstantial in the way ghosts of past selves feel when we look back through the haze of time. If you turn your head or look away, they will shift into something else, something new. Something dangerous ... Ultimately, these stories are fairy-tales for a world that doesn’t know what it is anymore. They are reflections of a future that remains uncertain even as the world seems to fracture. Like water, these stories will seep into you, filling you past the point of bursting. For that, you will be grateful.
RavePloughsharesThrough a mix of absurdism, hyperbole, science fiction, history, and fantasy, the author draws a map of washed-up American dreams and fears. His stories chart the plains of abandonment, the futility of love, and vague hopes that never solidify. From the titular lonely sea monster to the King of Retired Amusements to time-traveling third graders, Andreasen’s characters explore this map of disappointment and hardship, learning again and again what we already know but are too afraid to speak aloud: Everything comes to an end. Everything. And from each ending? The hint of a new beginning, carrying the reader forward into the next story, and the next ... A sort of twisted, dark nostalgia runs through ... Instead of allowing his characters to become sappy, Andreasen sharpens the pain and uses the blade to cut open old wounds ... But through all that—yes, even death—we endure. And so, too, will these stories.