My Thoughts on Ryan Bradley, Prize Winners

Title: Prize Winners
Author: Ryan Bradley
Publisher: Artistically Declined Press
Date: 2011
Genre: Short Fiction, maybe even flash fiction

111 pages.
Where I got it: Bought it
Challenges: None

This book came very highly recommended by Lori at The Next Best Book Blog (whose blog you should all check out).  And look at that cover?  I mean really, how could I resist?

This is a very small book, 111 pages with a lot of white space.  However, it is filled with unsettling portraits of humanity.  I'll tell you what.  Most of these stories give a glimpse into a relationship, maybe at a little bit that we would rather not look at.  They contain sex and neuroses and kink and humor, Tom Selleck's mustache and sentences like, "Girls in porn have never been mothers," stories about Tinkerbell and the TV show Cheers.  So, I read it, and I immediately wanted to go back and read some of the stories again.  Here are some of my favorites:

"Motherhood"- I quoted the first line from this one already, so you already have a bit of an idea.  A mother tells her husband about the difference between motherhood and porn.

"Wishes and B*** Jobs"- This one is about a hangover.  The same but different from every other hangover. 

"The Curtains, The Carpet"- Again, you might be able to guess, but I'll say this one is about a longing to be hairless.

I could go on, but I feel that I might be giving you the wrong impressions.  Bradley's stories aren't pornographic, they aren't erotica, and I would definitely say that they aren't for everyone.  What they are is perceptive, unsettling and raw in the best of ways.  It is a love letter to the strange and to the moments that we might not write about because they are uncomfortable.  So, if that sounds like your bag, I would definitely recommend it for consenting adults :)


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