Monday, March 23, 2009
A Horror Story
by Lawrence Millman
sunnyoutside, Buffalo, NY
Copyright 2008 Lawrence Milman
Paperback 25 pages $8
Review by Zvi A. Sesling
Lawrence Millman calls this a horror story which it well may be based on three things: the story, the mother and Millman's writing. That is not to say Millman's writing is a horror. In fact the exact opposite. He is very funny, very clever and very dead on. Not every Jewish mother is like Lawrence Millman's Going Home mother. However, I am sure there are many a Jewish male who may feel that their mother in some way or another - as cliche ridden as this may be - the kind of mother Peter's (the protagonist's) mother is. Even the hero's (??) name is central to the story which I refuse to giveaway because it is, as I said, very funny, very clever and very dead on.
As a horror story, Millman redefines what a horror is. It is a very funny and had me laughing out loud, not usual fare for horror. In fact, having read a few horror stories here and there, and not having read any of Millman's previous works (for which I now feel deprived), I would say he may be in a class of his own.
The Going Home characters are all too believable, particularly the interplay between Peter and mother. Their relationship is not unique in mother-son relationships, until of course, Millman adds his touch. Throughout the story Millman maintains crisp dialogue, tension coupled with humor and, of course, an ending that leaves you .... well, let's say, aware of the dark side of maternal instincts.
Reading this short story I definitely want to read at least some of Millman's eleven books. A book of his short stories, if they are anything like this would rival one of my favorite short story writers, Lawrence Block and putting Millman at that level says a lot for my like of this story. Read it and enjoy.
* Zvi Sesling is the editor of the Muddy River Poetry Review