From Publishers Weekly
A simple theme unites the 13 stories in this solid collection from Pratt (The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl
): extraordinary things can happen to ordinary people. In the title story, a western, Pearl meets—or perhaps creates from nothing—a man she names John Boot, who proves to be her salvation. In "Impossible Dreams," a videophile repeatedly returns to a mysteriously appearing video store from an alternate reality. In "Bottom Feeding," Graydon, mourning the death of his brother, conquers a giant catfish that has magical properties. Elements from Greek myth play important roles in such tales as "Terrible Ones," in which an actress finds herself followed by a Chorus and sought out by the Furies, and "Living with the Harpy," about a woman who gives up her harpy roommate for love. Pratt's straightforward style, ordinary Joe protagonists and often hackneyed plots render his bizarre landscapes all the more plausible and the emotional connections all the more wrenching. (Mar.)
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Full of a keen sense of usual fantasy--strange creatures and legends--and the fantastic in ordinary life, Pratt's stories are a lot of fun. "Hart & Boot" is a western in which Pearl Hart determines to make her fortune as an outlaw with the help of the mysterious Boot, who appeared to her out of nowhere. "Terrible Ones" seasons the last days of the Eumenides with a modern performance of Medea.
"The Tyrant in Love" is so bored with causing pain that he tries love and makes rather a mess of it. The girl "In a Glass Casket" is there because her father doesn't want her ever to leave him. "Living with the Harpy" is on one level about the benefits of having a myth for a housemate but also considers giving up the merely fantastic for something even riskier. Pratt's notes reveal the motives behind each story; for example, he aimed "The Tyrant in Love" at a woman he hoped to seduce (not his best idea, he says--the seduction, that is). Regina SchroederCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved