Throwback & Other Stories

Author: Jack Remick
Copyright: © 2011 Jack Remick
Cover Illustration: Helen Remick
Publisher: Quartet Seattle
Where to Buy: for Paperback and Kindle eBook

About the Stories:

The stories in Throwback open a window on characters living calm everyday lives but underneath that calm there’s a violent, bloody, painful, suicidal world and a savage god waiting for them to make a mistake. The hurt oozes up driving each of these people to find a way out–
The kid with a heart murmur wants to be a Marine.
A guy finds his lost sister but doesn’t know how to handle a fallen angel.
A woman with a fatal disease loses all her hair and doesn’t want to live without it.
Looking for love, a writer finds a demon muse who rips his heart out.
A traveling salesman falls in love with a surgical nightmare…
Throwback takes you step by step into a dark world where the light is just an illusion.

Reviews and Interviews:

Review by: susan canavarro on July 22, 2011 : (no rating)
In Throwback, Jack Remick writes about relationships, about pain and suffering, about illness and death, loneliness, emptiness, suicide, the last gasps of a life transversing from one story to the next, cutting across all characters. It’s interesting that Remick’s male protagonist in each is the one constant compassionate caregiver, the listener, the helper, but always, the one left behind, sad and bereft at his loss. It’s like there is a deep-rooted need to be the savior. And when death comes to one character, his protagonist transudes from one story, one loss, to another, as if passing through the pores of life, changing names, but remaining standing within his own loss.

I relate to Jack Remick’s writing because he doesn’t try to hide pain and suffering. He’s not scribbling down the words singing an upbeat life is wonderful tune. He’s telling it like it is. The undercurrent of pain bubbles up to the surface in each story and in each of our life stories. He forces us to face it head on.

Review by: Ryan Winfield on July 09, 2011 : star star star star star
I just purchased this book on Smashwords. I would like to warn potential readers that once they pick this collection of short stories up, they won’t want to put it down until the last story is read. If you’ve ever looked at interesting strangers and wondered what their lives are like, you’ll love peering into the worlds of these characters. Five stars all the way.

 Author Notes:
Sometimes a writer’s ideas are ahead of the techniques needed to make a story work. I wrote each of the stories in this collection in a 30 minute timed writing session. The 30 minute limit forces you to compress, forces you to start as close to the climax as you get get. In screenwriting, the gurus tell you to Get in Late, Get out Early. I experimented with form quite a bit. When I focused on Action and Image as the basic elements of story-telling, I found that sometimes the pieces came out in poetic form. Bad Debt and She Didn’t Mean to Do It and Ashes are examples of that form. The story is there, but the paragraph has dissolved. I think the paragraph isn’t a fictional unit any more than a chapter is. Both are constructs the writer uses for effect.



     I remember the first time I saw her. A woman who floated on a sea of her own perfume. Free. Vibrant red hair like the mane of a Teutonic warrior priestess. Atavistic and primitive as if this were the one Tacitus wrote about—the mother of the collapse of the Roman Empire. She might have been a Hun, one of the wild women who ran screaming and naked into battle.

     You can’t tie a woman like that down. Words fall off her like rain on oil cloth. You say, ‘God, you look good,’ and she turns her back. You say, ‘You smell nice,’ and she laughs at you. How do you pin down a woman whose ancestors put the fear of god into Julius Caesar?
A white straw hat, a sundress the color of calendulas in bloom, a bicycle riding down a chestnut tree lined boulevard in the heat of summer. Quiet and hot and humid.

     I was stunned when she wheeled up in Sproul Plaza and slid off the bike like a lizard sliding off a hot rock. Glints of sweat shining on patches of sun-drenched skin. She smiled at me. The dismissive smile a woman masters after a certain age.

     I held the door open.

     Thank you, she said. A voice as rich in timbre as her hair was deep with the hues of bloody sunsets. She shoved her sunglasses up into her hair.