“All Purpose”

Apostoly P. Kouroumalis

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 364 Price: (paperback) $19.99 ISBN: 9781514487051 Reviewed: April, 2019 Author Website: Visit »

The short stories and poetry in this collection burst with edginess and anger, like a throbbing release of testosterone exploded onto the page. While such unfiltered emotion can make for immersive reading in some authors’ hands, in this case, several factors impede comprehension and enjoyment.

It’s nearly impossible to summarize the plots of the short stories. They are written stream of consciousness and feature flashbacks about war, violence, and explicit sex, mixed with poems and journal entries and absurdist everyday observances. For example, “No Way Out of Osceola,” features this rambling passage with multiple punctuation problems: “Vendettas and the proverbial slime, riding on a ghouls wind with an ultra hot cast of rambunctious vixens dancing naked in cornfields with muddy feet fresh from the routine delirium.-no way out of Osceola, baby-the ride way drive down the black top.”

This experimental writing style communicates little beyond raw feelings and is laced with crude words and imagery. In “Lunch and Dillinger,” the author writes: “I meet a girl who tells me she wants a penis and beard, later she’s choking on my cock like no tomorrow, she gets thick goopy swabs of saliva on the end of my cock that are attached to her lips which make me reel.”

The poems offer similar themes and images. As challenging to decipher as the stories, they sometimes appear more than one to a page or separated on different pages without titles, making it difficult to determine where poems begin and end. In addition, several poems are repeated unnecessarily (including “Greaser,” “Can She Ride,” “Vain,” “The Ripper,” “In Love with the Dead”, “Easy Town,” Ride the Bull,” “Knives at Midnight,” and “Rumble N Chateauguay”).

Those searching for raw emotions and images may connect with this work on a visceral level, but readers accustomed to less crude language, traditional story arcs, and poetic devices likely will find this material inaccessible and perhaps even offensive.

Also available as an ebook.

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