Apparition & Late Fictions by Thomas Lynch

Ordinarily, I would find it hard to sing the praises of short fiction that dwells on death and loss.  But then, Thomas Lynch is not your average writer.  In addition to being an essayist and poet, he has worked for years as an undertaker, so the business of death definitely flavors his writings.  That he writes beautifully helps tremendously when wending through this collection of stories. 

Lynch’s characters are a varied lot – a college professor on a doomed quest, a cuckolded minister whose career is unexpectedly boosted after his divorce, a fishing bum with his father’s ashes in a thermos, and others.  His stories play out mainly in the towns and hinterlands of Michigan and Ohio.  With the exception of one story (Bloodsport) his characters are all travelers with some sense of familial loss, but even the main protagonist of Bloodsport has his brush with loss, in the form of the murdered young lady with whom he had a close and questionable encounter during her father’s funeral five years before.

Apparition & Late Fictions is not a feel-good reading experience.  But, if you like good writing and don’t mind pondering over some heavy issues, Lynch’s collection might be worth your while.  If you decide to read more of Thomas Lynch, take a look at his essays in The Undertaking:  Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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One Response

  1. As I read through your reviews, I keep coming back to this one. It’s compelling, yet sort of repulsing too. I suppose I’ll have to add this to my list of authors to look for.

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