January 11, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

Dream of the Wolf

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Scott Bradfield
publisher
Knopf
genre
Short Stories, Fiction
We gave it a B+

Scott Bradfield writes weird, oblique, unsettling stuff. His collection of short stories, Dream of the Wolf, is full of characters who have tapped into some kind of cosmic party line. A child unearths a statue from outer space. A woman keeps a diary of her out-of-body experiences. A man causes earthquakes with his mind. Many of Bradfield’s characters have symbol-saturated dreams that spill over into their waking lives, and nearly all are flummoxed by dolts who say things like, ”It’s weird, that’s what it is. Bullying defenseless little mice and deer that never hurt anybody. Talking about killing, and blood, and ice — and particularly breakfast.” Although Bradfield occasionally drifts off into New Age la-la land, his best stories are as startling and strangely funny as his novel, The History of Luminous Motion. In Bradfield’s universe, even houses have visions: ”The house dreamed fantastic dreams of self-fulfillment, overwhelming pride, spontaneous transformations. The house dreamed it was an ocean liner, a vast white iceberg, a right whale boiling with plankton and animalcula, a duplex shopping center with multiple cinemas.” B+

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