Kiss Kiss by Paul Beckman
Truth Serum Press
In Kiss Kiss, Paul Beckman’s latest collection of flash fiction released earlier this year by Truth Serum Press, we’re introduced to a variety of stories, all told through a masterful blend of calamity and empathy. In “Cars, Trains, and Smoke Rings,” we witness the goings on of a working-class neighborhood through the eyes of two young residents. In “Honey & Darling,” the narrator’s nefarious actions unexpectedly come to a head. “Mother of the Bride,” portrays a glimpse of a tumultuous mother-daughter relationship and the consequences of addiction. “Spice of Life” is an everyday moment between a husband and wife, told with humility and humor.
Whether an aging man going through a mid-life crisis, or a grandmother getting fleeced by her own family, Beckman’s characters in Kiss Kiss are written with a lively voice that is deft and saturated with heart.
Flash fiction, at its core, is a voyeuristic glimpse into a character’s internal struggle as the world around either helps or hinders the outcome. Hemmingway, Dybek, Ehrhardt, a few authors do it well. Paul Beckman is one of them.
About the Author: Renuka Raghavan’s previous work has appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Jersey Devil Press, Blink-Ink, Star 82 Review, Down in the Dirt Literary Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Beechwood Review, among others. She is the author of Out of the Blue (Big Table Publishing, 2017), a collection of poetry and prose. She writes and lives in Massachusetts, with her family and beloved beagle. Visit her here.