After the Plains queered him, Dave Madden decided to return the favor. This outstanding collection of short stories tells the tale of a different kind of difference one not set in the glittering lights of New York or Los Angeles, but in the grand and wide American Midwest. For Madden's characters, their queerness is part of the environment, like the soil, the sky, and theAfter the Plains queered him, Dave Madden decided to return the favor. This outstanding collection of short stories tells the tale of a different kind of difference one not set in the glittering lights of New York or Los Angeles, but in the grand and wide American Midwest. For Madden's characters, their queerness is part of the environment, like the soil, the sky, and the supermarket: an HIV-positive chemist uses football to connect with his brothers; a 17-year-old girl tussles with a cartoon cobra to avoid thinking about the mother who abandoned her; and a hotel concierge starts attending Mass even though his partner was molested by a priest. In seeking out the ordinary struggles of extraordinary people trying to figure out their place within families and communities, Madden masterfully explores what it means to be an outsider always looking in....
|Title||:||If You Need Me I'll Be Over There|
|Number of Pages||:||188 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
If You Need Me I'll Be Over There Reviews
Dave Madden's stories feel refreshingly inhabited, genuine and warm. The collection contains not one but three title stories, in which we encounter Buddy, the queer kid in the family, whose slightly self-deprecating sense of humor is also remarkably dead-pan and endearing. Each of these stories feels like a town permeated with history and populated with memorable characters. A great first collection, lively, funny and in the truest sense charming.
I reserve 5-star ratings for my favorites of all time, but this is an excellent short story collection with elements reminiscent of Charles Baxter and Charles D'ambrosio at times. Some of are in an intimate, gently meandering, memoiristsic style. The highlights of these are the three vignettes of the title story and "Smear the Queer," all good investigations of psyches that have difficulty connecting with the people they should be close to. Of the less internal stories, "Little Fingers" about a public tv assistant managing a celebrity chef and "Another Man's Treasure" about a put-upon garbage collector are the best. These two different styles of the collection are poles different enough to provide range and variety, but close enough to see the connections that thread the collection together. Highly recommended.
Although short stories are viewed as an easier art form than novels or poetry, they are ironically seen as less commercial. Personally, the short story is a higher art form due to its difficult execution. While you can have as many pages in the novel to tell your story however you want, the short story forces the writer to consider the most essential elements that must be placed within the shortest amount of time/pages. And even more difficult than that is knowing which stories best make up a collection. Dave Madden has obviously taken all of this into consideration, which is why this book was a marvel for me to read. This is a great book for anyone interested in story collections, and it's a great work of fiction in general.
Surprisingly poor, short stories with little gay content. The short stories were mostly ruined by narrative that didn’t go anywhere.
Very powerful and honest stories.
Reviewed for Foreword Books IndieFab Awards. The stories were all okay, but there was absolutely nothing to unite them into a single coherent whole. Several were set in Pittsburgh...but not all of them. Lots featured gay characters!...but not all of them. Some male protagonists, some female. Some religious, some not. Just nothing to tie these stories into any semblance of a "collection".
I can be a bit abrasive to short stories because of how "expsotional" they are in nature. Narrator after narrator and characters galore make an introvert like me feel like I was just at several parties and met too many people whose names I can't remember. Madden's story collection didn't have that exhaustion, and it was refreshing. The stories in If You Need Me I'll Be Over there follow characters and narrators that are so sure of who they are, that they don't "introduce" themselves to the reader. They are characters of action. Thinking might be one of the performed actions. Instead of being focused on pointless anecdotes to try and create a character, or having voicey narrators for the sake of voice, the characters focus on the conflict of the story. Often, in trying to solve said conflicts, most of which created by naturally occurring family dynamics, main characters make the situations worse, further contributing to the book's relatability. If You Need Me I'll Be Over There is a reading a reading experience that both soothes and moves. For every negative feeling I had over something bad happening to a character, the characters themselves often brought a smirk to my face, because if they don't find a silver lining, they find something funny about the silver. Books that can find that clarity, not just in "these times" but any time, should be treated like gems.