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Ian Singleton | Word Riot
Reviews | July 15, 2012

Old and Cold by Jim Nisbet

OLD AND COLD by Jim Nisbet The Overlook Press, July 2012 160 pgs. $13.50 paperback

Review by Ian Singleton

Old and Cold is a bum who walks the streets of San Francisco, sleeps under the bridge, and assassinates designated people for $5000 a head. Give that bum an existential tramp mentality approaching a conversation between Vladimir and Estragon, and you have one hell of a martini – the protagonist’s preferred poison, with which he sips away each of those five grand payoffs. This protagonist is also our storyteller, alongside his interior dialogue sidekick superego “the smart money,” wrapped up in

Reviews | March 15, 2011

Gryphon: New and Selected Stories by Charles Baxter

Gryphon: New and Selected Stories by Charles Baxter. New York: Pantheon Books, January 11, 2011. 416 pgs. $27.95 cloth.

Review by Ian Singleton

One word to characterize Charles Baxter’s fiction is “haunting.” The potential for surreality of his stories drives a contemporary reader of late realist fiction mad with wonder—in a word, haunted. Continuing his rich and varied body of work comes Gryphon, the just published collection of new and selected stories. I believe Frank O’Connor said he felt horrible for any writer whose work was subjected to such a collection. Perhaps he was right, but the opportunity to give