The Lit Pub review of Looking Out of Broken Windows went live on the site yesterday. Reviewer Christopher Allen totally gets the book, which is perhaps understandable as he is the Metazen editor who first published two of the stories in the collection, Baggage and Ultrasounds I,II and III, way back in 2010. He was one of the first editors to offer me support and encouragement as I started subbing my work.
It was genuinely emotional for me to read such a positive review. Even more so because not only does Christopher manage to explain most of what I intended the collection to convey in terms of theme and subject, but he also managed to show me a thing or to about what I have been doing with this story writing lark without consciously realising.
My fave bit of the review? This, from the intro:
“Imagining fiction without family is like imagining life without a head. There’s so much organic tension, drama, joy, confusion.” Ben Marcus said this in a recent Saloninterview with David Burr Gerrard, and I can’t think of a better way to sum up the themes in Dan Powell’s debut collection of short prose, Looking Out of Broken Windows(shortlisted for the Scott Prize). Confusion. Joy. Drama. And above all, organic tension — friction even, and the moments when friction becomes impact.
Powell builds up to these moments so well that my reaction to each narrative is, without exception, physical. My chest tightens, my heart begins to race. I care about what happens to these characters, and a lot happens to these characters. In fact, Powell’s style finds its roots in a story arc in which surprisingly active, explosive moments urge the narrative along toward a well-conceived climax — a traditional element of good storytelling lacking from much writing today.
But please, read the whole review here.
And once you’re done, and you’ve ordered a copy on the back of it, please, check out Christopher’s excellent blog, I Must Be Off!