Stickle doesn’t pull any punches with the start of this chapbook, which starts the way I anticipated but then gets very weird. Despite the back cover description, I had expected more “realistic” stories, so this is an immediate departure from Stickle’s previous collection. But like the dedication says, weird is not a bad thing. Even the weird here is sometimes sweet, sometimes dark, and always poignant. Each of these microfiction selections uses a spark of magical realism to say something about the real world. This isn’t a collection to rush through, because once again, Stickle’s unique take on fiction deserves to be heard and savored.
“AITA for falling apart at a dinner party?” excellently parodies both a familiar story format and the strange cultural way we look back on the last few years with such impossible expectations.
Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this chapbook from the author.
Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars