Stuart Ross' synaptic fireworks

Buying Cigarettes for the Dog, Stuart Ross (Freehand Books)

To be inside Stuart Ross's head: that would be some display of synaptic fireworks. Of course, all the oohing-and-aahing grows a little tired as, paradoxically, the unexpected and absurd becomes the expected and the accepted norm. What's he gonna try now, one asks a few times over the course of these 23 mostly truncated stories. But, like fellow pop-culture surrealist David McGimpsey, there are plenty of reasons (stories) for patience, sticking with the forcefully bizarre and experimental. Reason number one: "Guided Missiles." The longest and most structured narrative tells a great story and uses a magical arboreal metaphor, allowing the author to stay true to his absurdist roots.

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