For an old English professor type, I enjoy sprinkling a few entertaining and decidedly non-literary books in with the more serious contemporary texts and those musty but time-honored classics. For years I considered William Goldman my go-to author for mindless entertainments. Starting in High School, I read everything Goldman wrote (with Soldier In the Rain being my hands-down favorite). Many years later we had a young lad at work in charge of the stock room and emptying waste baskets who convinced me I should be reading Science Fiction novels. So for a year or two I read Science Fiction novels but in the end, I would have been just as happy as if I hadn’t read Science Fiction novels. Oh, there were a few good ones (I got hooked on Larry Niven) but for the most part the best I can say about it is that Science Fiction is boring.
Carton Mellick has brought together a fine collection of Bizarro tales all associated with Christmas. But please don’t get these confused with the Christmas specials the young ones love to watch each year on television: this stuff is purely for the adults in the family. The varied stories come from the warped imaginations of several excellent Bizarro authors, namely:
- Jordan Krall (Santa Claus and the Elves of Fuck)
- Jeff Burk (Frosty and the Full Monty)
- Andrew Goldfarb (Unwanted Gifts)
- Kevin L. Donihe (Two-Way Santa)
- Edmund Colell (The Christmas Turn-On)
- Cameron Pierce & Kirsten Alene (The Elf Slut Sisters)
- Kevin Shamel (Christmas Crabs)
An interesting narrative form is the one-sided dialogue. Often it is in the form of letters, a telephone conversation, or a diary. I suppose you can go back to Samuel Richardson and the early epistolary novels to see a form of one-sided narrative.
Let’s not forget the early Bob Newhart comedy schtick where the audience only heard one side of the telephone conversation (I remember the Sir Walter Raleigh and the Building the Pyramids routines quite vividly).
Probably the most common one-sided dialogue is the narrative which only goes on in the head of the character. Sometimes this technique is used in the midst of a more standard narrative but it is also used as the complete narrative, as in Gordon Lish’s excellent novel, Dear Mr. Capote.