Thursday, September 9, 2010

On "The Emperor Of Ice Cream" by Kevin Canty (8700 words) ****

I've been wanting to feature a Kevin Canty story since I started this blog. At one time, a great flash piece of his was featured on the Cutbank Web site, but in a transition to a new site, the old story disappeared, and so too did the chance to feature Canty--until now. I managed to find one that the folks at Five Chapters have posted, and it's a good one.

What makes Canty's work so memorable to me? He has a knack for fancy language when he wants to, but most often he works with rather stripped-down lingo, and this is a story that features mostly the latter. But straightforward narrative can be powerful when the story is good and the characters well drawn, and such is the case here. Lander nearly killed his brother, Tim, in a near-drunken car accident early in the summer and did manage to kill another driver. End of summer comes, and Lander has the chance to reunite with his brother--shrunken but now sort of well--and the rest of his estranged family. Tim is ready to return to their partying ways; not so much Lander (nor are Lander's parents keen on such), except that, you see, there's a girl involved, and that makes all the difference. Perhaps it's not the best idea to pursue this lady, but . . . Read the story here at Five Chapters.

No comments: