This Is Not a Love Song
by Brendan Mathews
This engrossing first story collection by rising star Brendan Mathews is packed with compelling tales such as “My Last Attempt to Explain to You What Happened with the Lion Tamer,” in which a love triangle complicates things between a lion tamer, a trapeze artist, and the strongman. Mathews effortlessly weaves irresistible stories from a wide array of situations, as in “Airborne,” in which a couple’s obsession with a mold in their house causes them to tear it apart plank by plank.
A worker in architectural salvage trying to two-time his boss by stealing a valuable antique, a father and his sons haggling over the family business during high-stakes rounds of golf, and a widow of the Bosnian conflict recalling her husband’s demise and her dramatic escape are only a few of the warm and intimately revealed characters populating Mathews’s enchanting collection.
This Is Not a Love Song is proof positive that Mathews is every bit the expert minimalist that he was the boisterous maximalist, as each of these ten stories brings its world and its sympathetic characters to life with vivid detail, emotional precision, and winning humor.