Friday, April 19, 2024

Gridlock by Brett Biebel

The book club I run with two friends focuses on short fiction - typically flash fiction in chapbook or novella-in-flash form. These books come from independent presses, so it's basically the opposite of the big-name children's/YA/adult books I share on this blog. However, I love shining a spotlight on good writing no matter what form it's in. And if I help other people discover flash, small presses, or specific authors, then YAY! Win-win!

Since I love this form, I like to write reviews of the books to help spread the word. This month, I reviewed Gridlock by Brett Biebel.

Brett Biebel’s stories always have a deep sense of place, and that is true in Gridlock, even when the place is a 200-mile-long traffic jam. His latest collection explores the kaleidoscopic view of the human condition through a satirical yet poignant exploration of the American experience.

The collection starts with the contained setting of the congestion on I-94 before taking “an on-ramp to America and all the little shards that might somewhere still be left.” That includes a group of roommates who pool their resources to invest in a robot sex doll, a University of Minnesota student who hacks the United Nations website, and a community of men who move into stadiums and post about their lifestyle on Reddit.

Read the full review here.

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