Book reviews

Nicole Flattery’s Show Them a Good Time (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019)

Has an abortion story with psychotic characters; a book meant for freakishly serious college profs.

A freakishly serious college English professor would assign this collection of short stories.  Thus, you’ll understand damned little.

But that may be the point.  The book jacket proclaims that “In this fiercely original [hyperbole] and blazingly brilliant [more hyperbole] debut, Flattery likewise deconstructs [here we go!  the first literary theory that leftist professors like to use to babble on about how words don’t mean what they’re supposed to mean] the conventions of genre [uh-huh; obviously, not an English professor who believes in the Judeo-Christian bases of the Western world] to serve up strange realities [riiight…].”

“Abortion, a Love Story” is a short story (which isn’t so short, spanning pages 65-150) worth reading in this collection, if only to demonstrate how abortion psychologically fractures a mother’s mind.  While it could be argued that Natasha had serious mental problems before she aborted the child conceived with her college lover, the fact that her college life is utterly in shambles after the event just proves what pro-lifers have known for decades: post-abortion syndrome (PAS) is real and devastating.

One more thing that “Abortion, a Love Story” demonstrates is that abortion can never be changed into comedy, as Lucy and Natasha (the halves of the fragmented aborted mother) conclude.  Natasha wants to make the play that the two women are writing a comedy (119), but by the story’s end it’s obvious that abortion simply cannot be funny.  When the “characters” are in what must be the scenery of the abortion clinic, Natasha affirms, “We’re not allowed to make a single joke here” (147).

Reading the rest of the stories will have you exclaiming “Wha-what?” or “OK…and what?”  A line from one of the stories could summarize anyone’s reaction to the entire collection: “Have you ever heard of anything so dumb?” (134).

Oh well, the 238 pages will only take a couple of hours to read, and it is good every now and then to explore how the diseased minds of characters view the world.

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