Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reader's Diary #760- Richard Van Camp: Angel Wing Splash Pattern

One of the short stories in Richard Van Camp's Angel Wing Splash Pattern is titled "The Night Charles Bukowski Died." Appropriate to mention Bukowski. Not that Van Camp has taken up where Bukowski left off, but there's a similarly free spirit flowing throwing his stories.

I find it a remarkable achievement that a collection of stories that are so different both in voice and content can somehow manage to achieve a consistent style. It's a style that lives in a no-man's land between mundane and sinister. Characters are somehow masculine but not macho, skipping rope with the crass and charming, and throwing one leg over-the-top. Mixing my metaphors? Angel Wing Splash Pattern inspires such nasty habits while abstaining from similar poison.

The stories in Angel Wing Splash Pattern are set in the Northwest Territories but they present a side I've never seen. I'd thank Van Camp for hauling the dark out into the light, but I suspect he's added glitter glue and a thrash metal soundtrack.

These stories are sad and hopeful, entertaining and fun. Believable? Once you permit Richard Van Camp to redefine the world, yes.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm intrigued! They have to be pretty special stories if they cause you to mix your metaphors.

Wanda said...

Wasn't someone reading this during the Under the Midnight Sun Read-a-thon? I remember being especially drawn to the title ... regardless, it sounds like an interestingly wonderful collection of short stories!

John Mutford said...

Barbara: Then again, a hammer to the brain might do that too.

Wanda: Oh yeah that's right! April did! I had forgotten that.