The Bookcase Project – Book 3: The Paris Review of People With Problems

Book 3: The Paris Review of People With Problems

An anthology, Picador Paperback Original, 2005


Finished this excellent book a fair while ago, just haven’t had the time to write about it. I bloody love anthologies, as you can probably tell. My bookshelf is heaving with them. Now, this particular volume is a fiction anthology featuring stories about problems. Problems in every setting you can imagine, with all sorts of wonderful, strange, creepy, gorgeous, repulsive, despicable characters. Writers such as Annie Proulx, Ben Okri and Elizabeth Gilbert glow, together with writers I haven’t come across before, but whom I will definitely catch up with from now on. Proulx is red hot with her short story ‘The Wamsutter Wolf.’ It’s about Buddy, a young man meandering through life with a knack for getting himself into trouble, especially with his new neighbours at the trailer park he’s just moved to. The adults were half drunk when he went over and he thought Vernon Clarence was drunk as well, for the child was staggering around, sucking at a beer can. This time Buddy did mention it to Cheri, but she laughed. Charlie Smith, an author of numerous works of fiction and poetry wrote the class act ‘Crystal River’ a story about a bloke who goes on a river journey in a stolen canoe with a mate. They meet a pretty extreme lady along the way, who likes shooting things and sex. They get into a whole load of shit. Unsurprisingly. She lay on me and her long light weight felt fine. I don’t even want supper. I kissed her nipple, rosy as a burn. I held it in my mouth until it hardened. It’s like a little scallop, fluttering open. Smith’s writing is exquisite. This book was a constant surprise, problems are obviously so varied and rife that I never knew what to expect next. The length of the stories was a continuously pleasurable assortment too. This is one you need to get your hands on.