Monday, January 12, 2015

REST AREA by Clay McLeod Chapman


Reading about Mr. Chapman across the web, he started his career as a playwright since he was twelve. No wonder he chose to write his debut collection in monologue-form. The collection is composed of 20 stories crammed with dark, nightmarish drama. 

REST AREA leads us through a chain of horrific domestic circumstances experienced by ordinary characters. Each story is brittle and shocking; honestly labored with unflinching reality. The prose is a fusion of rugged language and irony. 

My favorite story is entitled, And The Mothers Stepped Over Their Sons. This is a passionate monologue of a mother searching for his lost soldier son amidst the debris of his dismembered comrades. She calls out to her son Michael like she expects the dead to reply. And no one is stopping her from berating these fallen soldiers for taking her son with them despite his delicate lungs.
Michael? No point in hiding from me. Pouting like this only keeps you from your coffin. I'm not leaving this field without you, and that's a promise. You come home, let me bury you where you belong. I don't care if I have to drag you  back by the boots, young man. And believe me, I'll do it. Most of us mothers will have no choice.
The best irony about this collection is that it gives the reader no rest, no reprieve, from the nightmares. And since the stories are in monologue-form, I am sure they are best told live on stage or through an audiobook.

Book details:
Title: Rest Area
Publication: Theia, 2002
Genre: Domestic Fiction
Rating: ★★★★


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