3 is a collection of three long-ish, meaty short stories by Moxie Mezcal. By “meaty” I mean that they could almost qualify for the novella tag – because there is so much going on in terms of plot and interesting ideas that by the time you’ve finished, you are left with the kind of feeling more commonly associated with longer fiction.
The first story, “Home Movie,” is about a porn store DVD which has been replaced with what appears to be a snuff movie – is it just make-believe or could it actually be real? The main character, a girl who works at the store, turns amateur detective to find out the truth.
The second story, “1999,” recounts a night of partying on the eve of the new millennium. Whilst it starts with the line “[n]othing in this story really happened,” the writing is sufficiently vivid that it leaves you wondering how far that is true – and a sense that at least some of the events depicted could be drawn from real life.
The final story, “Fake”, is similarly preoccupied with what’s real and what’s not – but takes its cue from several notorious (real life) cases of journalists having made up plausible-sounding but fake stories in order to further their careers.
All of this emphasis on the real and the fictional might
make it sound as if we are in tricksy, ultra-ironic, post-modernist territory. But what impressed me most about this
collection, particularly “Home Movie” and “Fake”, was the focus on telling a
great story; it is only really when
you’ve got to the end that you start to think more about the ideas behind the
story. The result is that there is
something visceral about the story-telling that is often absent from books that
deal with similar themes (usually owing to the “self-consciousness” inherent in writing
fiction about what’s real and what’s fictional).
3 can be downloaded from Smashwords here (where it has
garnered several other 5 star reviews). At the time of this review, it was available free of charge. Moxie Mezcal’s website is here (NB the author commentary on "Fake" is worth a look - but only after you've read the story, not before!). And there's an interesting interview with the author on Tom Lichtenberg's blog.
In : Book reviews
Tags: "moxie mezcal" "short stories"
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