Hi everyone! This week I’m reviewing Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories by Frank Mundo, which I kindly received from the author and Booktasters. This collection of short stories revolve around a particular character, J.T Glass who works as a security guard at various establishments. The stories are snippets of his life, from his childhood and relationships with his family, to his escapades at work.
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. Mundo really captures Glass’ voice, who is our narrator for the majority of the stories, and it never falters. It is very dry, occasionally black humour laced with moments of reflection. As a result, Glass comes across as a very well-fleshed out character. He is relatable even in the most bizarre of scenarios, and you cannot help but laugh at some of the predicaments he finds himself in.
The idea of telling this story in fragments was also cleverly done. As a reader you are left to fill in the blanks and come up with your own ideas about what happens to these characters next. This narrative also reflects real life experiences. We only see people in snippets of their lives, and you may not be privy to the events or people that shape them. So it was interesting to witness these various fragments which make up a whole life and see how these affect Glass.
In particular my favourite stories revolved around Glass and his siblings. Mundo does an excellent job of portraying their relationship, and the banter between them felt very realistic. I found reading those stories very nostalgic, and couldn’t help but remember the ridiculous things my brother and I got up to when we were younger. Those moments were very evocative and I was moved by them. Every time I started a new story and realised it was about his childhood I got really excited.
Overall this is a collection well worth checking out if you’re a big fan of short stories. They are very witty and I found myself giggling away at points. The characterisation of Glass is also incredibly well-done and the writing is very vibrant and engaging. If you’re needing a bit of a pick-me-up then this might be the book for you.
Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories is published independently and you can find more information here.