Benjamin Percy’s Refresh, Refresh
by Benjamin Percy
$15.00 List Price
Death pervades the ten stories in Benjamin Percy’s second collection, Refresh, Refresh. These are gory, bloody, violent tales, yet they are narrated with such tenderness that they hang heavy with sadness. Percy sketches the lives of his protagonists, who live in Oregon’s rural high desert, in muted tones. Tumalo, Bend, La Pine, Redmond: The towns are as indistinguishable and unremarkable as their inhabitants—a melancholy region peopled with weary, mournful men who must cope with loss and loneliness.
The compelling title story, winner of the Plimpton and Pushcart prizes, is the acme of Percy’s style. Its tense, muscular account of two boys in a town emptied of its fathers, all marine reservists shipped off to Iraq, offers only the first of the book’s many renderings of quiet, painful desperation (as well as
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