Monday, September 5, 2011

Copeland Valley Sampler

Copeland Valley SamplerCopeland Valley Sampler by Chuck Copeland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Copeland Valley Sampler is a collection of strange and unusual short stories, written by the strange and unusual, for the strange and unusual.

Reviewing a short story collection is tough, especially since I normally hate reading them. This one has its fair share of gems, though. You've got Chuck Copeland's tale of a slap bracelet landing him in the psych ward, William Pauley's tale of a man being reincarnated as part of a Japanese game show, Magen Toole's tale of reality unraveling, and many others, including one Jordan Krall story that doesn't mention foot fetishes at all and another one that does. Garret Cook's tale, the Driller Killer, is up to his usual standards, and the Matthew Revert tales make me want to track down more of his stuff. Heck, I wouldn't say there's a dud in the entire collection.

However, one story tickled my innards like none other. The story was Nyuck, Nyuck by Eric Mays. "What was the story about?" you ask. Well, it's a western set in Bethlehem, Texas. After William Burroughs is left in Bethlehem to kick his smack habit by his pals Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsberg, three outlaws show up. The outlaws are Howard, Fine, and Howard, otherwise known as the Three Stooges. Ultraviolent hilarity ensues.

The Copeland Valley Sampler was well worth my time and an entertaining way to spend a couple afternoons. If you're in the mood for a sampling of quirky stories, give it a try.

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