Friday, March 4, 2016

Penniless Press in UK reviews JACKALOPE: Short Fiction by Denise Low

Fred Whitehead for Penniless Press reviews Denise Low's recent book of short fiction (and some

"Jackalope is a collection of short chapters, centered around one such creature and its experiences in a range of western locales, especially bars, saloons and beer joints, of which more in a moment.  I say “its” because it takes two forms: Jack (male) and Jaq (female).  Rumored to be hermaphrodite, our ‘lope prefers the word intersex, because it can switch genders.  Feeling uneasy and threatened in a rough bar, “Her testosterone surges as well as adrenaline, and she begins to shift into masculine mode . . . Jaq feels electrical energy travel from her head to her toes.”
There’s a lot of that electrical energy in these stories: sand storms, solar flares, lightning strikes, the buzz of alcohol, barroom brawls, video games: everyone and everything is wired someway.  Feelings themselves, I suppose, are a form of energy.  The book takes shape in a series of episodes, drawn together by the appearance and re-appearance of Jack/Jaq.  Much energy manifests itself in conversations—tall tales, and jokes (“A jackalope comes into a bar and orders . . . “). " 

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