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Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 23, 2020
Kathe Koja’s Velocities is a short collection of thirteen stories. They are loosely broken into themes. The are as diverse as a box of very elegant chocolate, but I’d be lying if I told you they were sweet, or safe, or comfortable. Of course, anyone who has read her work knows better than to expect that. There are stories about art, and artists, drawing the last painful drop of themselves into images and pain, words and dance... there are complex relationships that leave you aching inside.

I took my time reading this. One story I read three times, because I felt I was not “getting” something… and in the end, I got something different all three times, and though it was not a beginning, middle, ending sort of story with closure, it still sticks with me. That’s what stories do when they are at their best.

I am not going to post spoilers, but I will point out a couple of favorites, and some things you may find unique. The book’s structure, for instance. The sections – AT HOME – DOWNTOWN – ON THE WAY – OVER THERE – INSIDE. They define the segments, and the divisions are sharp corners. You won’t roll from one to the next with a feeling of familiarity. The stories in OVER THERE, for instance, are of other countries and other times.

I particularly enjoyed “At Eventide,” “Clubs,” and “Pas de Deux.” I admit to a prejudice in this, because these are the stories that remind me most of the works that first drew me to this author. SKIN, and KINK, THE CIPHER and STRANGE ANGELS. What I did not expect, and blew me away, was the effortless shift of character and voice that made up the section titled OVER THERE. From street prostitutes to artists, strange landscape to city streets they are exquisitely unique.

For a final note, the story “Coyote Pass” is the one I read three times. I’ll probably read it again, or listen to the audiobook and have it read to me to see if someone else’s interpretation gives me yet another perspective.

If you love dark fiction that is also literary and amazing, do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book. I could not recommend it more highly.
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