The Roaring Girl

by Greg Hollingshead

ISBN: 0156005840

This is the kind of book you think you are going to like, you try to like, but in the end you don’t like the way you thought you would.

The characters were quirky, sometimes even kinky, but for the most part I just didn’t connect with these stories. Perhaps the comparisons with Raymond Carver were too much to expect Hollingshead to live up to. I often felt at the beginning that the story was really going to go somewhere, but more often than not it just didn’t arrive.

The best story in the collection was “Walking on the Moon.” All the pieces came together in this story, from the way the family talked to each other to the way that they watched “the goons” next door. Best of all was the way little things wove themselves together to make something bigger. (That is what I think really good short stories do.) This one had a great bit about watching a cat pace on a roof and ended with the line “that’s the sound of flowers bursting from the surface of your body.”

I picked this up cheap at a used bookstore. In the future, I might check a Hollingshead book out of the library, but I’ll be reluctant to buy a book of his until I see more promise delivered.

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