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Nothing in John Sokol's stories are as they appear -- interesting that the visual artist exposes moments of human folly and bizarre behavior as if he were exposing tricks of light and shade. With a Shakespearan bent for understanding the fundamental principles of "reality versusappearance," one of the stories is actually a modern-day revisitation of a well-known tragedy by Shakespeare. The characters are by turns bizarre, pathetic, and sympathetic, and they reveal Sokol's dark sense of humor at its best, as even just a partial list of the cast of characters shows: Van Gogh at his most humorously neurotic, a jealous, scheming academic, a Peeping Tom, and a nine-year-old girl who can see into the future. All of which, of course, make for interesting narrative premises - but these characters seem so complex and human that they transcend the novelty of their circumstances. And all of the characters are impossible to forget. In other words, he resists the temptation to rest on the clever devices he has created, which results in a gallery of finely-tuned portraits of human disorder and brief moments of clarity. These stories are both accessible and entertaining, with plot twists that will keep the attention of all readers, not only fans of 'literary' writing. They withstand the test of careful critical scrutiny and re-reading.
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John Sokol's poems and stories have appeared in magazines such as REDBOOK, AMERICA, APPALACHIA, and QUARTERLY WEST. His drawings and paintings have been reproduced on over 50 book covers and in many periodicals, including ANTAEUS, LE MONDE, and THE GEORGIA REVIEW. Now his stories will be collected for the first time ever in book form. John Sokol has also published poems in many literary journals across the nation. His chapbook, KISSING THE BEES, was reviewed by Paul Zimmer in the THE GEORGIA REVIEW, and his full-length collection of poetry, IN THE SUMMER OF CANCER, received reviews by poetrymagazine.com and MUSE APPRENTICE GUILD.Review:
"He has a sense of fun, good instincts for structure, and an attractive sensuality" --Paul Zimmer --The Georgia Review
"His phrasing is perfect and his timing and rhythm are fascinating" --Unlikely Stories
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Book Description Rager Media, Akron, OH, 2006. Softcover. Condition: Fine. First Edition. 8vo. Seller Inventory # 169708
Book Description RagerMedia, Akron, OH, USA. Trade Paperback. Condition: As New. As new Trade Paperback book. Book. Seller Inventory # SA4284