Review: Jigs and Reels by Michael Stephens Print

Jigs and Reels(Furious Fictions #3 October 1993)

Lucky you! Lucky me! Michael Stephens' prose offers us a choice. We can listen purely for pleasure to the sonorous wording and deft rhythms of these imaginative pieces, captivated by such marvels as "Sparrows,` which begins: "Dull tan, homeless, bleached brown, some even brindled, there is perpetual vagrancy to them, as though their only purpose were to cadge quarters from passersby, or ask for a cup of coffee."

Or we can receive careful instruction in the craft of prose compositions--the running sentences, the lack of connectives, the tonal registers, the stylistic illusions--in works like "The Runaway," in which clauses flow with rowboat regularity, gliding across the surface without once going under, to explain why the boy returned home.

The rest of the review is available here (opens a PDF).