Review of ‘The Illiterate Ghost’ by Alan Price

On first read, the sixteen mostly brief pieces collected in Alan Price’s The Illiterate Ghost seem to cast only passing glances towards one. Yet on re-reading, their aggregate effect is one of a sustained gaze that seems askew but insightful nonetheless. These stories penetrate.
This is slipstream fiction, or interstitial if you prefer, where the countervailing forces of fantasy and mundanity quiver in an unstable equilibrium. Whether cast as formal experiments, as in Index to the 1896/1907 films of George Méliès, or as a more traditionally plotted story, such as Okura’s Tree, William’s Bridge—which brilliantly demonstrates how mutual sexual obsession can transform, through loss, into something much more lasting—Price’s fiction cleverly illuminates the weirdness of our lives.

You can order this chapbook from Eibonvale Press.