Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Review: Charactered Pieces by Caleb J Ross

Caleb J Ross’s short story collection Charactered Pieces (OW Press, 2009) is a celebration. It’s a celebration of characters who are cursed. With life.

Whether destructive, apathetic, misshapen or addicted, the characters in this collection continue to chug forward like damaged locomotives that refuse to derail. Their power, it seems, is in their imperfections, and Ross shows us, without a doubt, he is a master of tragedy made gorgeous.

In My Family’s Rule, a father and his two sons look on as a hospital is demolished:

Sutures, like soft spots on infant skulls, break away, letting the exterior collapse into these floors and stairs that once carried so many sick, dying, and healing.”

Stark, vivid, and yes, often unsettling, Charactered Pieces grips you and won’t let go, pulling your eyes through the dark smudges of humanity’s rifts with a terrifying, skillful grace.

Beneath the rubble of their lives, the characters in Charactered Pieces know who they are, and Ross challenges us to forsake them. But we cannot, for they are us.

“Sometimes, we have to learn how to smile.”—from The Camp

Don’t miss this.

Visit Caleb HERE. Purchase Charactered Pieces HERE.


Caleb J Ross said...

Wow! Thank you so much. This review will make me smile for weeks.

Mel Bosworth said...

My pleasure, Caleb. Brilliant stuff, my man.