The Knack of Doing by Jeremy Davies
Black Sparrow Press: 1/15/16
eBook review copy; 170 pages
The Knack of Doing by Jeremy Davies is a highly recommended well written debut collection of thirteen short fiction. The collection "runs the gamut from parody to tragedy and back." Also expect some historical along with present day settings in the stories.
Forkhead Box: Contemplating the life of a man named Schaumann, the state executioner who just happens to breed mice in his spare time.
Sad White People:
Reflections on the hipster couple, Chris and Chris, who have only been
apart twice since they've been together. "Chris had never in her life met anyone else with Chris’s odd laissezfaire dependence."
The Terrible Riddles of Human Sexuality (Solved): Questions are raised
and answered; the questions and answers tell the story of a dominatrix.
The Dandy’s Garrote: "Editor’s note: The
author was asked to provide a blurb for the debut novel of an old and
dear friend. He delivered the above text. It was returned."
Ten Letters: A gullible mother with plans for her two children travel on a Cunard liner.
The Excise-Man: The excise man is out making inquiries and bringing men to justice.
Kurt Vonnegut and the Great Bordellos of the Danube Delta: "Do you remember Kurt
Vonnegut? Mr. Vonnegut has left us eight rules for writing, in the
introduction to his short-story collection 'Bagombo Snuff Box.'"
The Sinces: Every sentence begins with "Since you went away...."
On the Furtiveness of Kurtz: Thoughts on a man named Kurtz. "It has been much
remarked upon. By those who have observed him. He’s sitting. He’s
crouching. Crouching as though expecting a blow. Or else: As though
recovering from a blow."
Illness as Metaphor: A man is unhappy that his mother has made his illness public. "Such things are only for family consumption."
Henrietta the Spider: Henrietta, who tenaciously holds on to all perceived minor slights, is slowly going mad.
The Knack of Doing: "This is the story, he
says, unclean thing, abomination of desolation, spitting a little into
the mouthpiece. He was thinking, he says to his once-wife, that he, of
the two of them, is the angrier: the medal goes to him, his anger is
like unto the sun in its endless fizzle. His anger is on the table, she
should weigh, she should measure, she can imagine it as a sort of a
demipenteract; which by the way is a five dimensional hypercube, whereas
her complaints are, as it were, strictly 2D."
Marquis: Set in the nineteenth century, this is the story of a
ghostwriter told in numbered points that are not presented in numerical
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy
of Black Sparrow Press for review