Multiplex Fandangoon Mar 05 in Blog Post by johnhornor
Back in 2003 I quit smoking. Because I was already overweight, my doctor gave me a script for a drug called Adipex, which was some sort of amphetamine or appetite killer. It helped me keep the weight off after quitting the cigarettes, but it also had some serious side effects. The most annoying of them was the anxiety that, during the course of a day, would become this persistent and overwhelming sense of imminent doom. It’s hard to explain, I’d take the pill, my heart would begin racing a short time later – and I’ll admit that it was pleasurable at times too – but it was the pervasive feeling that at any second my phone might ring and deliver to me the worst news imaginable. And I am a father.
It’s the same feeling I had reading Multiplex Fandango.
With Scarecrow Gods and Velvet Dogma, Weston Ochse proved that he’s a master – a brilliant fucking master – of the novel form. In Multiplex Fandango, Weston Ochse proves he’s a true master of the short story form.
The stories begin innocuously enough, a couple finding each other in Mexico, two guards keeping watch over a rather evil rift, a crack-head looking for a fix, a young illegal immigrant making for a border crossing, a desperate father trying to get back to his homeland and family, boys fishing in summer heat. But each story – populated by real characters with the weight of history and sorrow on their backs – moves toward a realization, sometimes of doom, sometimes of redemption, with a grace and profundity that makes me somewhat jealous. This collection is terrifying and moving and thought provoking by turns. Each piece has a sense of inevitability that only the best works of fiction possess.
If I had a complaint about the collection, it’s the winking pulp b-movie sensibilities of the titles. These stories outstrip their pulp origins, each one resonating and luminous, taken in whole outweighing the sum of parts. I really can’t recommend the collection enough.
My favorites, the ones that just totally blew me away, were “The Crossing of Aldo Rey,” “Forever Beneath the Scorpion Tree,” and “Redemption Roadshow.” That bastard Ochse can go from hard as steel to delicate and sorrowful in a sentence. The prose is just brilliant.
Go ahead and sink the money into this one. It’s totally worth it. Right here.