The Magical Realism of Life of Pi

The Magical Realism of Life of Pi
Review by Margie Taylor

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stopping for Strangers by Daniel Griffin

Daniel Griffin

What a nice gift, a book of short stories for a short story lover.  Daniel Griffin is a new talent and one to watch.  He has set his writing pulse in synch with family life and produced insightful stories that zing on the page.

Some of the stories have appeared in my favourite Can Lit mags such as Prairie Fire and the New Quarterly. 

In the first story Promise,  Doug goes to visit his brother who is freaking out because his wife left him.  We soon realize a dangerous situation is brewing and the volatile brother is capable of anything.  This story held me glued to the page. The dialogue sizzles with menace and innuendo.  Every remark  holds a hidden barb relating to family bitterness and failure. 

Several stories stood out for me including "Martin and Lisa" where the dialogue at a  family party hums a dysfunctional tune. Tangled family rivalries emerge in the powerful story, "The Last Great Works of Alvin Cale," when an artist father confronts the works of his dying artist son.

 Griffin's prose is spare and sharp.  I was not surprised to learn that he has been compared to Raymond Carver.

Stopping for Strangers is available on line at Chapters and Amazon and should be available at the local Chapters soon.

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