Shoebox Train Wreck
Overview - "The living haunt the dead..." These fifteen genre-bending stories are set against a backdrop of sudden violence and profound regret, populated by characters whose circumstances and longings drive them to the point of no return... and sometimes even further. Read more...
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More About Shoebox Train Wreck by John Mantooth; Danny Evarts
"The living haunt the dead..." These fifteen genre-bending stories are set against a backdrop of sudden violence and profound regret, populated by characters whose circumstances and longings drive them to the point of no return... and sometimes even further. A young girl takes a journey to see what is really hidden within the belly of an ancient water tower. A high school senior learns about defiance on a school bus and witnesses a tragedy that he won''t soon forget. Six survivors in an underground bunker discuss the possibility of Armageddon being an elaborate hoax. Two brothers take a walk on the dark side of the wheat field and discover that some bonds are stronger than death. And in the title story, a former train conductor must confront the ghosts of his past while learning that it''s not the dead who haunt the living, but the other way around. Traversing the back roads of the south and beyond, these stories probe the boundaries of imagination, taking the reader to the fringes of a society where the world looks different, and once you visit, you won''t ever be the same.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Mantooth gives a clear-eyed, if depressing, view of human nature in this collection of 16 short stories that exemplify one character's viewpoint that "the dead really don't haunt the living. The living haunt the dead." The selection reveals an inordinate fondness for school bus-related tragedies, including two stories that hinge on their catastrophic collisions with railroad trains, but the overall variety of disasters mostly stem from momentary lapses of attention or judgment. But whether the lead destroys his life and others' lives by driving drunk, or from having an epiphany about the only way to stop a bully, the aftershocks of the violence resonate long into the future. The most powerful entry is "This is Where the Road Ends," which toggles between 2006, when the drunk lead character hits and kills a child with his car and decides to cover up the accident, and 2010, when the lies he has crafted to allow himself to continue living come home to roost. There's nothing fancy here—just good, spare, bleak storytelling, and some haunting images that will stick with readers like the kid at the end of the road. (Mar.)