Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Y'all's Problem; a novel, by Michael Patrick Welch

  This was one of those occasions where you wind up somewhere that's really nowhere, at first. That is to say, I was between stuff. I had the rest of the afternoon to putter about. And man, can I putter.
It's amazing.

 A brand spanking new copy of 'Y'all's Problem' was on my reading table, courtesy of Michael, the White Bitch, hisself, so I thought I'd take a look, just a peek, inside. It was just after midnight when I finished the last page and closed the back cover. It's easy like that. And fun. It really is.

 'Yall's Problem' flows immediately along, like a conversation with a co-worker, becoming more intimate as you read, almost like a personal journal. This subtle change only pulls you deeper into the flow, and the inner thoughts & perspectives make the first person narrative take on a feeling of keeping a confidence, binding you to it a bit more.

 I found some Michael's basic characters to be almost stereotypical, at first, except that I have known these people before, or their doppelgangers, myself. After a while, they seem more iconic, as though the others were mere imitators. But then, service industry people tell so many stories of the mad, they all sound so.... familiar.

Anyway, as they interact with each other, and relationships develop, I almost wondered what some were doing while out of the text. I wanted to watch the story with them. But this iconography works very well in the easy flow of the birth of the story, allowing things to move quickly, on to more complex rhythms, and stranger tides.

The main character, Patrick, is complex in his simplicity. While often whining, or worrying about sounding whiny, he still sets out, stepping into the unknown, on a rather outlandish adventure, that, while not life changing perhaps, is life affirming, and a rather hilarious adventure at that. As he separates himself from the trappings of service industry youth culture, his coming of age may be a struggle, but a little ridiculous & naive as well.

 You would think this was a real life journal. It felt that way, except for the obvious story telling capabilities. The Hero is at once bold and tragic, poetic and loud, brave and whimpering, desperate and independent. The story itself is of love, lust, coming of age, leaving it all behind, and finding it again. And it's somehow very personal, to the reader. It's interesting to be in someone's head as the walls come down, one by one.

Read this book.
And thank you, Michael, for sharing something well worth keeping in my head.
And for hipping me to shells.
I had no idea.


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