Philips, Wendy. Fishtailing. Coteau, Regina F (poetry); 1/11.
I swore out loud when I opened this, having bought it thinking it was a novel, and discovering it to be a narrative poem with big print and a lot of blank pages. It took me less than an hour to read. The plot (about right for a short story) involves four teenagers in school and a couple of their teachers. True to the hideously tiring zeitgeist of everyone having been traumatized, the “normal” ones are drawn into all the awful consequences of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PLOT ALERT) with one of the trauma victims committing suicide in the end as a result of the psychopathic sexual greed of the other one (END PLOT ALERT). I think the poetry is fair, and I did want to know what happens in the narrative.
I’m angry at being deked into buying the book not realizing what it was (take a look inside the cover, John) and boy am I fed up with trauma all the time. It’s almost as bad as cancer and death. We’re so honest and real. Anyway, for the fairly good writing and not-bad plot, 7.4.