Post Your Opinion
by R.R.

EACH TALE IN Judy McCrosky`s Spin Cycle and Other Stories (Thistledown, 63 pages, $6.95 paper) is constructed so that we expect an ethical point to be made. However, most of these short -- very short -- stories are thin, unresolved narratives, as McCrosky reduces her characters to little more than quaint, stylish caricatures. As a result the stories have no substance. The only exception is "Wanting," a wistful depiction of a brief friendship between two college roommates and the unconscious motivations that irrevocably determine their respective destinies. The remaining stories are further undermined by their endings. In "The One Within" an aging divorcee nurtures an unrequited sexual obsession with a young waiter. This flimsy tale closes with an astonishingly inappropriate metaphor. Two other stories, "Photography," which reads like an episode of "Twilight Zone," and "Statue," about an incomprehensible relationship between a woman, a sculptor, and his work, both have contrived, quasisupernatural endings. The title story is also a real puzzler. It features a couple with a laundry problem, a bag lady who steals their dark load (she leaves the whites), and a camel whose inexplicable presence seems to be an obscure detail included to aggravate the reader. In the last instance, the story succeeds.

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