Saturday 15 November 2014



A father, a son, a suicide, a pink piano, an axe, a robot, yellow jackets affixed to the eyes of Precious Moments figurines, and the news about how "dead trees got not one thing on milkweed and sumac, horsemint and sweet William." A tour-de-force at story length from Kyle Minor, award-winning author of In the Devil's Territory. Available exclusively on the Kindle.

Another short story, another quick read and another click on the reading scoreboard with another new author.

The Truth and All its Ugly was a pleasing introduction to Kyle Minor, who’s two story collections already sit on the pile - In the Devil’s Territory and Praying Drunk.

Our tale is set some time in the not too distant future with some cloning and a form of re-birth possible, but in the main the theme is of family and loss and love and damage and pain and hurt and heartbreak and fractured relationships and poor choices and wrong decisions and consequences. No amount of future technology can overcome those emotions.

Not usually a fan of the future and yet to be invented science and technologies but I enjoyed this one. Well worth a look and I’ll be looking forward to reading his other work.

4 from 5

The others on the pile are, along with a brief introduction below……

In the Devil’s Territory

The debut collection of stories and novellas (including "A Day Meant to Do Less," a Best American Mystery Stories 2008 selection) from a young writer who is, as Benjamin Percy has said, a master of "the dark caverns of the human heart."

A schoolteacher escapes East Berlin at night, swimming the Spree River three times carrying elderly relatives on her back, so she can make her way to West Palm Beach, Florida, and "ruin the lives of fifth grade boys." A young husband reckons with the likelihood that his wife's troubled pregnancy will end with her death before Christmas. A preacher bathes his ill and elderly mother, not knowing that she has mistaken him for the long-lost cousin she watched murder his brother in her father's tobacco field. In six stories that read like novels in miniature, In the Devil's Territory plumbs the depths of human mystery, where meet our kindnesses and our cruelties, our generosities and our pettinesses.

Praying Drunk

The characters in Praying Drunk speak in tongues, torture their classmates, fall in love, hunt for immortality, abandon their children, keep machetes beneath passenger seats, and collect porcelain figurines. A man crushes pills on the bathroom counter while his son watches from the hallway; missionaries clumsily navigate an uprising with barbed wire and broken glass; a boy disparages memorized scripture, face down on the asphalt, as he fails to fend off his bully. From Kentucky to Florida to Haiti, these seemingly disparate lives are woven together within a series of nested repetitions, enacting the struggle to remain physically and spiritually alive throughout the untamable turbulence of their worlds. In a masterful blend of fiction, autobiography, and surrealism, Kyle Minor shows us that the space between fearlessness and terror is often very small. Long before Praying Drunk reaches its plaintive, pitch-perfect end, Minor establishes himself again and again as one of the most talented younger writers in America.

The author’s website is here.

Bought in the not too distant past on Amazon for Kindle.


  1. Col - I'm not usually one techno- and future-set stories, 'though I've read some I really liked. But I think the key to the good ones is that they deal with issues we all face, no matter where and when we live. Glad you liked this.

    1. Couldn't agree more Margot, though I'm hoping his other stuff is more rooted in the present-day.

  2. Well Kyle sounds right up your street. I may wait to be convinced....

  3. Same for me. I will wait until you review the others.

    1. Tracy, no problem.......maybe by the time I have you will be enjoying short stories a bit more

  4. Col, these sound fairly gritty to me and I don't mind reading them in the shorter formats. Thanks for the introduction to Kyle Minor's fiction.

    1. Prashant, you're welcome. I'm hope you give him a try at some point.