DiscoverLiterary Fiction

Bookquarium Magazine - Volume 1

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Worth reading 😎

An eclectic collection of stories and poems written with wit and humor

Synopsis

Four stories by Frank Marcopolos and four poems by Q.R. Maber. Frank's fiction has been reviewed with such praise as:

“This is a thoughtful, articulate, and often humorous narrative about the choices we all make, sometimes in the space of a single heartbeat, and the life-altering impact of our subsequent actions. It’s also a bittersweet tale of self-discovery and seminal experiences, full of realistic dialogue, unexpected situations and offbeat characters. A highly readable novel that recalls the style of Michael Chabon or John Irving, this is a literary gem that should not be missed.” – Blue Ink Review, Starred Review (Eagles and Hawks and Also People As Well)

Quite an eclectic bunch of stories and poems in this volume! My favorites were "Icky" (short story) and "Love on Top of a Washing Machine" (poem).


Belying the titles, both pieces exude sensitivity and warmth. "Icky" starts off in an ordinary manner, but quickly escalates into a psychological thriller. I almost did a double take when "Icky" ended, so unexpected was the twist. "Love on Top of a Washing Machine" is eloquent, raw, and heartrending.


The poems are thought-provoking and incorporate layers of meaning, making each subsequent reading full of surprises and fresh insights. Equally interesting are the short stories--and each of them have a twist that is bound to leave most readers guessing until the end.


No two pieces are similar; this volume is a well-rounded collection guaranteed to give you several hours of pleasurable reading. The language is simple yet purposeful; just the right words used to convey the appropriate emotions.


"The Bitcoin Heist" is both funny and gritty, as it follows the desperate muggings of two drug addicts who try to fund their next drug-addled euphoria. "Cato and Foyle" has a long build-up which does not disappoint--so diabolical is the ending! "Tock-Tick" plays with your mind and leaves you wondering who Allie really is.


I'd recommend readers to take their time to dwell upon each piece, instead of reading through the volume in one go. I'm sure you'll feel compelled to come back to the stories again and again as you try to figure out just what happened!

Reviewed by

My reviews are for readers. I attempt to write balanced reviews to help people decide if they'd like to pick up the book.

Synopsis

Four stories by Frank Marcopolos and four poems by Q.R. Maber. Frank's fiction has been reviewed with such praise as:

“This is a thoughtful, articulate, and often humorous narrative about the choices we all make, sometimes in the space of a single heartbeat, and the life-altering impact of our subsequent actions. It’s also a bittersweet tale of self-discovery and seminal experiences, full of realistic dialogue, unexpected situations and offbeat characters. A highly readable novel that recalls the style of Michael Chabon or John Irving, this is a literary gem that should not be missed.” – Blue Ink Review, Starred Review (Eagles and Hawks and Also People As Well)

Tock-Tick (Short Story)

The meat-packing district is trendy now. It didn’t used to be. It used to be full of fat Italian guys smoking stubby cigarettes inside the cabs of loud, exhaust-belching, graffiti-stained trucks delivering meat. Now, every night of the week, networking parties rage inside spaces formerly used for the production of meat products. Socialites like Allie are often found, as she was now, standing with a crystal flute full of pink champagne in her dainty hand, greeting trust-funded hipsters before they enter the by-invite-only hot spot. The fat Italians are not invited. They’re all in Hunts Point now, anyway—or, that’s how it seems. The sad reality is that Then and Now, Here and There, it’s all a hazy, white-noise blur.


Allie (by birth: “Aywalasha Rai”) stood like the proper, finishing-school girl she was—obelisk-straight, her hair like black silk flowing over her dome-slope shoulders. Reconning the scene, Allie’s perfect posture reminded me of 7th Street, that row of nearly identical Indian restaurants, where we tried to get Allie to give up the goods on three major players in a global money-laundering operation. She was standing that way all through the interrogation, never wavering under the pressure. We failed to get the information we needed out of her, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be nostalgic about it all. “What drives you, Peter?” Allie had whispered to me over tandoori chicken before the interrogation, in the kind of romantic, airy voice that can make even the rumbling New York City delivery trucks sound like Aeolian harps. Her perfect posture wind-swept into her sweet voice in my ear. That’s one of those tricks of the mind that can seem cruel or kind, depending.

About the author

Frank Marcopolos (1972- ) founded "The Whirligig" literary magazine in 1999, which has been called "a landmark" of underground fiction. Frank's fiction has been reviewed with such praise as "thorough-goingly entertaining" and "highly readable...recalls the style of Michael Chabon or John Irving." view profile

Published on December 25, 2019

Published by The Bookquarium

6000 words

Genre: Literary Fiction

Reviewed by

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