Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Shorts #2

Photo credit: the bbp / Foter / CC BY 

Sunday Shorts is a weekly feature here at The Little Reading Nook.  Were I review short stories that I have read (normally on a Sunday).  It is my way of diving into the world of short stories and trying to introduce others to them also.

This is the second Sunday, that I am reviewing a short from Ran Walkers 16 Bars:  A Short Story Mixtape.  Today I'm only reviewing on story because I almost forgot that I started this tradition at the end of 2012.

Description (GoodReads):

Ran Walker's first "short story mixtape" pulls together a varied collection of stories about black men and how they are shaped by the relationships they enter. With topics ranging from break-ups to awkward first dates, 16 Bars is a bold, unflinching, and even humorous take on what goes on in the minds of black men when romance enters the picture.

A Theory on Toilet Paper:  

Aaron watches a date disintegrate because of a little ice cream.
I was a little leery of A Theory on Toilet Paper, the name just screams bathroom humor.  And while I am might enjoy the occasional bathroom humor every now and then it does have to be done "tastefully".  As "tastefully" as possible for bathroom humor.  I am happy to report that A Theory on Toilet Paper is done "tastefully".  I laughed the whole way through and refrained from reading another story just because I could not guarantee that I would not compare it to A Theory on Toilet Paper.

Like all the other stories in the collection, so far, A Theory on Toilet Paper is written in first person.  I had a fear in the first couple of paragraphs that Aaron, the main character/narrator, would be overshadowed by his funny and very memorable uncle, Mudbone.  It was an easy fear to have when the first scene opens up with Mudbone says this:
"For folks with low to no income, they use the single ply.  It's the most affordable, but it ultimately provides the least protection.  It's the closest thing to wiping your ass barehanded.  Now, just because people don't have a lot of money don't mean they should have to wipe their asses barehanded."
Mudbone has more to say on the topic but you'll have to read the story to find out.  Aaron was an equally strong character.  His voice was unique and I was able to form a picture of him in my mind.  When he met Jolie Soleil, I was rooting for him.  And when things did not go the way that he wanted, I read in horror and amusement as he explained what happened.

Overall A Theory on Toilet Paper was an excellent read and it made the wait at the bus stop and the ride to the grocery store fly by fast.

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