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Book Review: Gravity (2017)

Gravity by Michael Kazepis
Genre: Crime, Literary, Mystery, Horror, Sci-fi, etc
Published by: Broken River Books
Release Date: June 9, 2017

GRAVITY is Michael Kazepis’ follow-up to his 2014 novel LONG LOST DOG OF IT, which I believe will be re-released sometime in the future with new artwork, and new interior design. GRAVITY is a short story collection with short stories ranging from his most early work and possibly unpublished work, to more recent work like the incredibly dark story “Minerva”, and the sci-fi/Lynch-esque “Goodbye to the Holy Mountain”.

GRAVITY is comprised of nine short stories spanning multiple genres all the while avoiding the atypical tropes you’d see in lesser collections. In many ways GRAVITY seems like a love letter to the artists, writers, philosophers, films, directors, musicians, etc that have shaped Kazepis’ life. For instance, Kazepis wears his Latin American Boom influence on his sleeve with his opening story “This Is A Horror Story” seeing the protagonist (likely to be Kazepis himself) visiting the grave of Cortázar in Paris, France. It’s a short, somber story that encapsulates how much they mean to Kazepis, ending with the aforementioned visit to Cortázar’s grave. Salvador Dalí makes an unexpected appearance in “Time In The Shadow Of The Thing Too Big To See”. “Minerva” is practically oozing with nods to David Lynch, and Edgar Allen Poe, and Robert Bolaño.

Kazepis makes unexpected turns in stories like “Thrush” examining the inner thoughts of an assassin as he stalks his target, and “A Song For Our Fathers” which follows a group of Russian, and Romanian ex-pats on an irradiated Earth committing some pretty horrendous crimes in order to survive.

His writing is immediate in its intimacy, and raw to your nerve endings when dealing with the visceral:

“He kept thinking about the woman inside, the cold body she was trying to warm, that special quiet king of love that builds between beings that can’t talk to each other.”

“The flesh had been carved out of his chest and stomach and now exposed an empty ribcage. His spine coiled down to where his pelvis had been. Blood filled two of the shit buckets they used.”

It’s difficult to say more about GRAVITY because it’s so short (coming in 126 pgs), but it has writing that will stick to your bones, scar you, and turn your insides out as your sanity spirals downward in the dark reaches of space. It’s dedication “for nationless children” is apt as you feel each story carries pieces of our wide, confusing world and the diverse, multi-cultured people in it. A collection that demands to be read, and you’ll be the better for it.

10/10

Buy GRAVITY: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, Powell’s
Find Michael on Twitter
Check out Michael’s micropress King Shot Press

Published in review

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