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Uncommon to other short stories, Vegas Spins tackles a type of experimental fiction/non-fiction here that is rarely seen, with originality and a solid quality of writing that endorses it.
Inspired by James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, Vegas Spins offers a commentary on literary academia woven from the lives of three intellectuals shuffling through the gaudy glitter of Las Vegas. Told almost entirely through conversations and the characters’ thoughts, three writers with lost love lives and shifting careers find themselves together on a local television show acting as literary experts on the subject of banned books. It is there, in front of a live studio audience, that they will discover who they are and what they find important.
Nobody’s story yet everybody’s story best describes the arrangement of this piece, where the typical fiction rules do not work as the reader expects them to. Vegas Spins creates its own world, and becomes a place that speaks to and reflects every reader.
The short story Saturday Night humorously presents the tale of a female student whose fantasies about an imaginary college professor come true. An English major unidentified by name throughout the story, the student sits through her literature classes imagining that one day her version of Mr. Darcy will appear in the form of her next professor. When it finally happens, she bounces on the opportunity to turn her fantasies into reality by seducing her professor. The reader soon realizes that the professor, a willing pawn in her game, likely has some unscrupulous fantasies of his own.
The story takes place over the period of the semester and is written in three parts: the girl’s daydreams about her ideal professor, her fantasy coming true, and night they decide to take their relationship out of the classroom. This story provides the reader with an entertaining lesson on what can happen to a fantasy once it becomes realized.
The short story The City introduces a young woman in the midst of trading the confinements of her volatile marriage and small town existence for the seduction of freedom and anonymity within a big city. From the first word the reader is instantly thrown into both the physical action of Phoebe’s decision to leave Cole and her racing thoughts, as we escape down the deserted highway in her car while listening to her frantic mental narrations of what went wrong in their relationship.
Part suspense, part action, part thriller, The City uses themes and plot devices similar to a Hitchcock film. This story warns readers that sometimes, no matter how innocent the action or dire the circumstance, our choices have consequences and should never be made lightly.