Minstrel Monkey Reviews Glass Animals

Many of Steve’s characters are quite oblivious of what’s happening to them which is an enormous part of the appeal (and torture) of each story. We gain an (often uncomfortable) insight into the protagonist’s experiences but we are, of course, powerless to explain it to them, or save them from whatever destruction or change seems inevitable. Universally, Ramey’s characters are very real, even the most absurd and outlandish of them, no matter what age or gender – he picks out and unweaves exactly what makes each one human and flawed and beautiful. Every story makes you wonder how you’d seem if sketched as one of the characters – not always a wholly enjoyable idea but one that certainly keeps those tales secure in your head for days…

The stories I can’t forget have implanted themselves into my brain for completely different reasons: The Divide for its domestic profundity, Simply Salazar for its casual intimidation, Canis es Machina for Clarise (who really ought to be the star of a beautifully grim indie movie), The Mailwoman for its duplicitous gossip, Meringue for its… climax, Nora’s RV for its aching urgency, Funny Stuff for the ultimate tragic clown, and, finally, Leaving the Garden, a story that has stayed with me ever since I first read its initial incarnation at our writing group.

My bookshelf has a space in between Q and S reserved for more Ramey. Yours should too.

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About Stephen

I live in beautiful New Castle, Pennsylvania with fellow writer, Susan Urbanek Linville, and a herd of reformed feral cats.

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