Thank you to Guernica Editions for providing me with an advanced copy of F.G. Paci's collection, Talk About God & Other Stories, in exchange for an honest review.
PLOT - F.G. Paci's Talk About God & Other Stories, contains eight stories, including the title piece. Often humorous, Paci's stories range in theme from a reality show chef with family problem, to a story about a group of odd-balls connecting over their deep passion for cinema.
LIKE- I have to admit that the stories were hit or miss. I felt like the stories fell into two categories: 1. Those that were thematic rants, and 2. those with strong character development. I gravitated towards those with the strong character development.
I enjoyed Chef of all Reasons for its melancholy tone and the way that it showed the double-life of a reality show persona; the sunny on air personality and the man trying to keep it together behind the scenes. Paci has a knack for dialogue writing and this is particularly memorable in, Talk About God, a story with a very awkward dinner party. I liked the quirky cinema loving characters in Last Movie in Kinmount. Not only does the story have strong characters, but it has this wonderful tonality.
I like Paci's sparse style of writing. It's clean and direct. He also has a wicked, dry sense of humor that I find appealing.
DISLIKE - I didn't connect with half of the stories, those that seemed to be more of a rant or monologue. I felt that Paci was choosing a theme, over story or character, and they didn't resonate. These stories included The Wager, Reading Boot Camp, and Philosophy for Idiots. In each of these, there were passages or moments that I enjoyed, but on a whole, I found the stories lacking.
RECOMMEND- I'd recommend some of Paci's stories, but I would not recommend Talk About God & Other Stories as a collection.