I recently re-blogged a post from Eden Baylee who interviewed John McCaffrey. I took an instant like to his work, even though I am not a fan of short story collections.
“Two Syllable Men” was too good a title to resist, though and I found the book to be a highly fascinating selection. I won’t go into a lengthy description of the stories but add the blurb.
What I will say it that the men and situations in the book are all great characters, their thoughts and feelings (about life and women mainly) are being shared honestly and uncensored. The brevity and poignancy of the stories worked well and often left me pondering and thinking. The male psyche gets put in the spotlight in a very unpretentious and enjoyable way. This is something I would recommend to anyone. There are hints of a male “Sex and the City” which was a great series about relationships and humans, although often not giving men as much time as this book does.
Two Syllable Men (Vine Leaves Press), is a collection of 12 short stories, including several that are considered to be “flash fiction,” under 1,000 words. The title of each chapter is that story’s main character, and yes, each character is a man with a two-syllable first name – William, Daniel, Graham, Kevin, Byron, Steven, Ronald, Joseph, Herman, Thomas, Harold and Martin.
Buy links available from Vine Leaves Press
| Book blurb for Two Syllable Men
In the tradition of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and Ernest Hemingway’s Men Without Women, Two Syllable Men presents the male psyche in all its fragmented glory. From William, who finds his immigrant girlfriend’s English language translation notebook, and in it the words that define their growing relationship, to Steven, who is comforted whenever he spies trees or shrubs peeking out from the roofs of urban buildings, and who can’t walk through the bus station without physically running into people, and Harold, who will only eat an even-number of food items at any meal, and numbs his heartache by buying in bulk at Sam’s Club. These men, and nine more, still have fight left in them. They do not want to be alone, but learn that often the best way to find love and lasting happiness is to look inward, not outward.
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John McCaffrey grew up in Rochester, New York, attended Villanova University, and received his MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. He the author of The Book of Ash and Two Syllable Men. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.