Five Fingers Make A Fist
Stories by Alexander Laurence
Pollinator Press: OCTOBER 1st, 2007
Evoking Exercises In Style by Raymond Queneau, where the same story is retold 99 times, Alexander Laurence has taken storytelling as the subject of his book. Five Fingers Make A Fist juxtaposes extreme realism, science, poetry and theater in 28 stories told through various points of view, from a baby narrator in "My Birth" to an old lady waiting to die in "The Ballad of Nariyama." Many of the stories take place in San Francisco in the 1990s, yet they are truly universal. Inspired by pop culture, music, and TV, these stories are too entertaining for any literature to get in the way (it's okay if you don't get the literary references and in-jokes the first time). The characters become so twisted by their own self invention that they start to believe their own made up stories about themselves and the world. Sometimes their self-made fantasy becomes a truer version. What is real? What is a mask? What is good old storytelling? Prepare to have the world turned upside down.