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This is a multifaceted treat: a sparkling collection of T.V. LoCicero's best short fiction and non-fiction penned over the past five decades-14 stories, memoirs, essays and occasional pieces that are by turns brilliant, hilarious, moving and insightful. Together they offer a wonderful array of unlikely but vividly realized characters: --A colorful black caddie who plays on This is a multifaceted treat: a sparkling collection of T.V. LoCicero's best short fiction and non-fiction penned over the past five decades-14 stories, memoirs, essays and occasional pieces that are by turns brilliant, hilarious, moving and insightful. Together they offer a wonderful array of unlikely but vividly realized characters: --A colorful black caddie who plays one of the strangest rounds in the history of golf. --The mild, unassuming fellow often dubbed the greatest crime writer of our time. --A Hall of Fame athlete whose decades of triumph ended in sudden death on a Manhattan street. --A comfortable suburban matron who pays a charitable call on the squalid inner-city room of her long-time maid. --The Little League dad whose compulsive flirtation with Lady Luck may cost him his thumbs, fingernails or the soul of his son. --An earnest young reporter who thinks the witty, gorgeous gal he just met is too good to be true...until she claims to adore him, and then he's got one small problem. --A meddling spinster so perversely intent on helping her eccentric old housemate that nothing good can ever come of it. --The author himself back in the day, divorced, broke, living in a refashioned garage and looking for a job that pays.


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This is a multifaceted treat: a sparkling collection of T.V. LoCicero's best short fiction and non-fiction penned over the past five decades-14 stories, memoirs, essays and occasional pieces that are by turns brilliant, hilarious, moving and insightful. Together they offer a wonderful array of unlikely but vividly realized characters: --A colorful black caddie who plays on This is a multifaceted treat: a sparkling collection of T.V. LoCicero's best short fiction and non-fiction penned over the past five decades-14 stories, memoirs, essays and occasional pieces that are by turns brilliant, hilarious, moving and insightful. Together they offer a wonderful array of unlikely but vividly realized characters: --A colorful black caddie who plays one of the strangest rounds in the history of golf. --The mild, unassuming fellow often dubbed the greatest crime writer of our time. --A Hall of Fame athlete whose decades of triumph ended in sudden death on a Manhattan street. --A comfortable suburban matron who pays a charitable call on the squalid inner-city room of her long-time maid. --The Little League dad whose compulsive flirtation with Lady Luck may cost him his thumbs, fingernails or the soul of his son. --An earnest young reporter who thinks the witty, gorgeous gal he just met is too good to be true...until she claims to adore him, and then he's got one small problem. --A meddling spinster so perversely intent on helping her eccentric old housemate that nothing good can ever come of it. --The author himself back in the day, divorced, broke, living in a refashioned garage and looking for a job that pays.

5 review for Coming Up Short: A Collection of Fiction & Non-fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    T.V. LoCicero’s prose, for me, is like the lure a fish knows isn’t real, but hits anyway. Artifice, of course, is the basis of fiction, and the best fiction—like that found in this brief but potent collection—takes a reader places he or she wouldn’t otherwise go. As the old saw goes, there are no boring subjects, only boring writers. So here, at last, is a collection of Mr. LoCicero’s short fiction and journalism, and much of this is first-rate stuff. Indeed, the first story, “Fixed” combines ga T.V. LoCicero’s prose, for me, is like the lure a fish knows isn’t real, but hits anyway. Artifice, of course, is the basis of fiction, and the best fiction—like that found in this brief but potent collection—takes a reader places he or she wouldn’t otherwise go. As the old saw goes, there are no boring subjects, only boring writers. So here, at last, is a collection of Mr. LoCicero’s short fiction and journalism, and much of this is first-rate stuff. Indeed, the first story, “Fixed” combines gambling compulsion with fatherhood in a way that sounds like it could have come from the pen of Bruce Jay Friedman; it really is that mordantly ironic and funny. The third story, “Shrunk,” I found surprisingly absorbing given its romantic elements, something I usually avoid like the plague. These are the high spots of the seven short stories contained in this volume. I generally avoid short fiction, mostly because I prefer novels (Mr. LoCicero’s are quite good, incidentally), so I’m a bit out of my depth writing about these stories. I simply don’t read enough short fiction to comment perceptively on it. The non-fiction pieces in this book are the standouts. As I’ve written elsewhere about Mr. LoCicero’s prose, his exposition is his strength. Unsurprisingly, then, when writing expository prose he is at his best. The first essay on the non-fiction side of this book is a simple act of self-historical documentation, “Why I’m Here.” This is an elegant piece of writing whose brevity complements its prose. “The Lessons of Sport,” about Detroit sports teams in general, and basketball legend Dave DeBrusscher in particular, also serves as a notable example of the greatest strengths of Mr. LoCicero’s writing. I am a longtime agnostic where sports are concerned; I don’t know much about sports, and other than watching an occasional baseball game, I don’t care to. But I couldn’t put this piece of writing aside, which says a great deal about the interest in a subject Mr. LoCicero can generate for the otherwise uninterested. Just on the strength of the pieces I’ve mentioned above, this book merits the price of admission. However, if you do need to justify the price to yourself, consider the fact that the non-fiction side of the book contains a roughly nine-thousand-word interview with the late, Detroit-based master of crime fiction, Elmore Leonard—one of the last he gave before his death in August of 2013. His influence on the genre is estimable, yet in his interview, Mr. Leonard is humble, voluble, and gives credit where credit is due—to wit, to Hemingway and Graham Greene, but also to the little known but highly esteemed American writer Richard Bissell. If you are an Elmore Leonard fan, don’t miss this piece. Post Scriptum: After posting this review yesterday, I realized I neglected to mention another standout in this collection, "Selling the Bison." The Bison, for the uninitiated, is (or was; I assume that Mr. LoCicero is using a pseudonym for this product--in any case I can find no mention of it on the Internet) a "Home Maintenance System." I too have a story about interviewing for a job selling vacuum cleaners, at a time, like Mr. LoCicero, when my career prospects were dim. Unfortunately for me, I could never tell that story with the kind of wry good humor that this story projects.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nikita Castle

  3. 4 out of 5

    G.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shelia

  5. 4 out of 5

    cheryl

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