Torrance Stephens has a very distinct style to his writing. At times, his prose almost seems like a lilting cadence; other times it's like a finely crafted speech, complete with pauses for applause. In his short story compilation ROCKSTAR, STUD, GIGILO, Stephens marries intelligent literary fiction with an element of grittiness and realism.
My favorite piece in the collection was the first story, "Cutlass Daddies," and, consequently, my favorite line was the first.
"My castle was the city and my fort was the street."
This book abounds with funky fresh prose. I found myself marveling at both Stephens' poetic command of language and the fact that he is somewhat unsung; I hadn't read anything by him until this point. Other standout stories include "The Rockstar," the story of a -- well -– rock star, "Reciprocity," a short three page story that touches on platonic relationships, and "Wicked Ego Strokin'," the story that alludes to the adage that all is fair in love and war.
While, at times, the various narrators in the collection seemed to have similar voices, I was still intrigued and elevated by them. I felt satisfied and enlightened by each of the stories; they were raw and different from the norm. Torrance Stephens not only thinks outside the box, he has stomped on it and left it lying on the concrete.
Reviewed by CandaceK
of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers