Books

Buried on the Beaches: Cape Stories for Hooked Hearts and Driftwood Souls

" 'Because anything that can happen to you, can happen on the Cape.' It was our version of the concluding words of a sermon, or a prayer, after which it was time to stand up, or sit down again, head bowed, knowing that you lived in a place unlike any other, and maybe more like any other, too, when you got into the internal part of everyone and everything here." So says one narrator in Colin Fleming's masterful collection of short stories set in Cape Cod--a magically gritty and self-contained universe where landlubber tourists are called "googans" and locals drink at dive bars like "Sez the Flounder" and "The Ticky Crab." An aging veterinarian sifts through his memories of working on a whale-watching ship with a charismatic wanderer named Jibber Stokes; a Yarmouth filmmaker agonizes over the contents of a mysterious video that his best friend took of his beautiful cousin when they were teenagers; a troubled composer returns to his dysfunctional musical family in Chatham, complete with ancestral claims that "we had relatives that once kept the Nina rocking on the Pilgrims' maiden voyage with some improvised instruments made out of driftwood that they scooped from the sea with those big hats of theirs." With subtle grace and quiet wisdom, Buried on the Beaches vividly evokes the natural beauty of the Cape to depict the complex negotiations between individuals and their environment, memory and nostalgia, and expectation and hope.

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The Anglerfish Comedy Troupe: Stories from the Abyss

 

​In eighteen thematically linked stories, Colin Fleming explores the ways in which relationships end, with a focus on the void a loved one leaves behind. In “Fire with Legs,” the inhabitants of a noise machine discuss the end of a previous relationship, and the life that went with it. In “Playing in Room B,” an amateur videographer searches for his vanished wife in his movies, wondering when she started slipping out of the frame. In “Green Wood,” a man examines the death of his wife and the certainty of reality in a world where the TV program never changes. In “The Char Paper Blues Band,” a tiny group of professional musicians provides the background track to a couple’s life, from blissful harmony to the gradual souring of the song. Through magical realism and extended metaphor, Fleming explores the epiphenomena of failed relationships, the flotsam left behind in the wreckage of life as it was.

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Between Cloud and Horizon: A Relationship Casebook in Stories

 

Between Cloud and Horizon: A Relationship Casebook in Stories is an examination of what defines the relationships that define each of  us, and the myriad forms they take, in a story collection that doubles as a casebook of how we interact with each other. It is an exposé—in  narrative—of what binds—or breaks—the bonds between fathers and sons,  partners in crime, brothers, roommates, bandmates, co-workers, the past  and the present, man and machine, the living and the dead, book and reader.

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Dark March: Stories for When the Rest of the World is Asleep

​An island who becomes ambulatory and has adventures upon the land. A frigate captain with a singularly artistic method of punishment. Gulls who are players. Crabs who crack wise. A garage encrusted in blue crystals that harbors a secret. Rival haunted forests fighting for top billing. And a man who navigates that dream world known to anyone who has had a life pulled out from under them and a heart replaced with a question that has a beat of its own: What the hell is happening to me? What the hell is happening to me? What the hell is happening to me? Dark March may be happening to you. And probably some other things, too.

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