Thursday, July 13, 2000
ECHO Magazine reviews Richard Grayson's THE SILICON VALLEY DIET
ECHO Magazine's August 17, 2000 issue features a review of Richard Grayson’s The Silicon Valley Diet in Ken Furtado's "Booked" column:
By Ken Furtado
. . . .
Arizona author Richard Grayson’s ninth short story collection, The Silicon Valley Diet (Red Hen Press, $14.95, trade pap.) contains a dozen works of fiction, having in common humor as dry as the desert and an assortment of nerdy-but-likeable Seinfeldian characters.
In “Willie 95,” the narrator reflects on his 30-year friendship with Willie, whose death he learned about on Compuserve, in sections titled after the menus of Microsoft Word.
“Salugi at Starbucks” is told via alternating narrative and e-mail exchanges, again spanning 30 years while Elihu waits in vain for his lover to move in.
The sections of “Anything but Sympathy” are named aftr words that can be formed from the letters S, P, O and T (spot, stop, post, etc.)
Many of the stories involve the inability to find or keep a boyfriend, an affinity for non-Caucasian lovers, and dissatisfaction with the narrator’s height (he’s short).
Grayson excels at a sort of Valley-speak mixed with stream of consciousness; his characters ramble on at length, brain-surfing from one topic or thought to another.
Many stories rely on a technique of alternating passages of complementary text with the narrative, as in “Moon Over Moldova,” in which we learn about Moldova while the narrator tells us about secretly loving this hot South American, then developing similar feelings for the guy’s lover. Effective for a single story, the technique loses its effectiveness when used repeatedly.
But Grayson’s humor will keep you turning the pages. His bullshit detector is dead-on, as in this sentence, from the title story: “I’d long ago given up going to slaughterhouses and trying to approach aspiring Abercrombie & Fitch catalog models emitting radiation from isotopes of unobtainium.”