Jovial Harbinger of Doom: The Short Stories of Laurie Clancy edited by Richard Freadman

Reviewed by
December 2014, no. 367
The Short Stories of Laurie Clancy

Jovial Harbinger of Doom: The Short Stories of Laurie Clancy

edited by Richard Freadman

Michael Hanrahan Publishing, $35 pb, 407 pp, 9780992557959

Jovial Harbinger of Doom: The Short Stories of Laurie Clancy edited by Richard Freadman

Reviewed by
December 2014, no. 367

A story called ‘The Burden’, which appears at about the halfway mark of this collection, begins like this: ‘Graham was finding the burden of freedom a little too much for him …’ He is working alone in his room above a Chinese restaurant near the Berkeley campus of the University of California, where he is a visiting Australian Fellow, writing a novel about, it seems, academic life. But the novel isn’t ‘coming along’. He is ‘stuck hopelessly in the middle of a quarrelsome English department meeting from which he couldn’t extricate any of his characters’. He has run out of money and food and is down to his last half gallon of Red Mountain claret. ‘Nothing for it but to do the tourist thing and wander down Telegraph avenue with a camera.’ And so begins his afternoon of boredom, inchoate intentions that evaporate as they arise, and chance meetings. Looking back on it at the end of the day, he decides there was ‘not much to show for it … Or maybe there was something there. He pulled his notebook towards him and began to write, “Graham was finding the burden of freedom a little too much for him …”’

The Short Stories of Laurie Clancy

Jovial Harbinger of Doom: The Short Stories of Laurie Clancy

edited by Richard Freadman

Michael Hanrahan Publishing, $35 pb, 407 pp, 9780992557959

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