by Kyle Minor
$15.95 List Price
"These stories are meant to be read in order," notes the disclaimer that opens Minor's latest. "This is a book, not just a collection. DON'T SKIP AROUND." Readers would do well to abide by this petulant command, since Praying Drunk plays out like a concept album for which someone has pondered the arrangement of tracks and how certain tonal or thematic patterns surface, submerge, and reappear. There are epic barnstormers, minor-key ballads, and no small amount of filler. Unfortunately, the collection fails to pull together in a way that truly justifies Minor's opening caveat; despite a commandingly raw, poetic voice, these stories read like a succession of experimental false starts.
Minor's main subject is death, and death comes often here: at the barrel of a shotgun; wrought by angry Haitians during a mid-'80s
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