To do this book justice, I’m going to have to keep it short and sweet – keep it flash! If I were to delve into this flash fiction collection too much, talk too long, and too detailed about each story held within, it would in fact ruin the readers experience of what is a stunningly crisp and expertly woven flash fiction collection.
Meg Pokrass is an exceptional writer, the flash fiction princess as it were – her collection Alligators At Night is the perfect example for those who don’t know what flash is, or for those that are trying to write it, and undeniably for those who love the art form.
Each story contained within her collection affects the reader in some way, with her simplistic brilliance and mastery over the craft, she leaves the reader changed, and more often for the better. Pokrass’ voice throughout Alligators At Night is strong, direct and enchanting – she pulls the reader in from whatever is happening in their lives, and lets them live fleetingly in the worlds and words that she has strung together with her unique storytelling and deftly crafted flash fiction – which at times is unapologetically brave!
Many of the stories within Alligators At Night are only a page long (there are a handful that go on longer – which are also as enjoyable), and for Pokrass to move the reader in the way she does, and in so few words – perfectly encapsulates what flash is capable of, and also showcases brilliantly her guile as a writer, that less is most definitely more. Pokrass’ prose is delectable, each word fighting for a place on the page, there is a real blend of themes and narratives on show – but each story is fierce, compassionate and honest…just how I like my flash.
Alligators At Night is like a giant chocolate cake, and I am the fat kid who couldn’t help themselves, I gorged myself on it, polishing the whole thing off in a couple of sittings – it’s the danger of flash, and flash written as well as this – it’s here and then gone in the blink of an eye. But now I have a hankering for the taste, I know how good it was, how succulent and fulfilling and I’ll be dipping my chubby fingers back into the icing soon enough!
Alligators At Night is a stunning flash fiction collection from a master of the form and if you are after flash fiction with a bit of a bite, look no further than this most seductive of reads. It is literally gold dust!
Alligators At Night is published by Ad Hoc Fiction and is available here.
Meg Pokrass is the author of five flash fiction collections, an award-winning collection of prose poetry, and a novella-in-flash from the Rose Metal Press. A new novella in flash “The Smell of Good Luck” will be published in 2019 by Flash: The International Short Short Story Press and a new collection of microfiction, “The Sadness of Night Bugs” forthcoming from Pelekinesis Press.
Reviewed by Ross Jeffery
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