August 3, 2013

Literary Pick (****)

Ciao! Miami 
-Fawzy Zablah

I couldn't wait to start reading this book. It makes me realize what a remarkable talent it is to be able to sit down and successfully write a dialogue between characters, and able to express ideas that are easily transported to the mind of the reader. I'm really amazed by that gift and talent.
Let me first begin by saying that I approached this book prudently. I wanted to make sure I read and thoroughly absorbed all the stories, and it's symbolism. I had a hunch before even reading any of them that there would be a lot more than met the eye.

The first one was "Eve in blue robe". I have to admit that since it was the first story and I was unfamiliar to the general style and theme of the work as a whole I didn't quite know where it was heading, but it turned out to be surprisingly funny, a bit wicked, and I actually cracked up in the end. It was classic! I don't want to put any spoilers in my review since these are a collection of short stories, but it gives insight to the superficial nature of the social scene in Miami, and how deceiving looks can be.

Post Bug Billy Flint, was a sweet yet sad story, and after finishing it, I was confident I was going to enjoy the rest of the book because I was very comfortable with Zablahs congenial form of writing.

"The Women's Army" was my favorite! I know it sounds cliche but it was so riveting. I'm a big fan of historical fiction, and Zablah pulled it off quite effortlessly and un-forcibly, I may add. I'm ashamed to admit I didn't know much about Elias, and never heard the story about the dolphins, so it urged me to look online and read his entire story.
I just really enjoyed the characters in this one, they were all so clearly presented, and developed.

The Last Club on Earth reminded me of the movie Trainspotting. It had qualities of a dark comedy. Tragic, but funny.

"The Existence of Babil" was my second favorite because it immediately reminded me of Rachel Corrie, the activist who was bulldozed by the Zionists while trying to protect Palestinian homes in Rafah, Gaza Strip. This story took me back to that time during 911, when I was living in Brooklyn NY, and racial tensions were very high, and a lot of innocent hard working people had to endure the anger of the atrocity that the city was feeling at the time. Another story that made me jump on the net and revisit that era. I'm glad I did because I wasn't aware that in 2012 the Israeli courts ruled the Zionist army was not at fault in Rachel Corrie's death.
I absolutely love books that make me jump on the internet and search for historical events, and this was one of those books.

"People Clash in Pre-Smoking Ban Florida"
I particularly enjoyed the honesty of this story. "she looks like a retard", "She must be a retard". lol I can related to the reaction of these two servers. I display the same reaction upon witnessing someone smoking around their child. I appreciated this one a lot.

"Darling, It Was An Uphill battle Loving You" was my third favorite. This was one I kind of wish was an entire full length novel because it had this rhythm that consistently increased in suspense. I read this one in bed after work, and I was sleepy but I couldn't put it down. The ending was so shocking, but it made me laugh because I could totally picture that happening to a girl. lol

Overall this collection of short stories were definitely worth reading. Dare I say, this is the first collection of short stories which I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. If i had to pick 2 writers whose style I think Zablah represents, it would be a little Bolano, but more like Junot Diaz.

I really can't wait to read more from this author.


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