In this collection of thirty-eight chiseled short stories, George Thomas Clark introduces readers to actors, alcoholics, addicts, writers famous and unknown, a general, a lovelorn farmer, a family besieged by cancer, extraterrestrials threatening the world, a couple time traveling back to a critical battle, a deranged husband chasing his wife, and many more memorable people and events.
In compressed language George Thomas Clark presents Snapshots of Distressing Events. A distraught man confronts noisy neighbors, one couple is enveloped by infidelity, another’s destroyed by violence, drinkers and drug users have some fun but more trouble, people stumble in matters of money, medical destiny is determined by mishaps, malice, and chance, members of the media send strange messages, mass murderers and gun lovers disrupt society, those seeking liberation in religion are sometimes imprisoned, and from World War II to the present powerful people blunder.
Boxing is practiced by abnormally tough and determined men compelled to risk their health for a long chance at fleeting glory. In Uppercuts, George Foreman young and old knocks out almost everyone. Joe Frazier mauls Muhammad Ali, Ali destroys Frazier, and boxing ruins both. Jerry Quarry tells about his decline and that of his brother. Hector Camacho recalls the fire in his head. Emanuel Steward, Oscar Bonavena, Alexis Arguello, Archie Moore, Roberto Duran, Jack Johnson, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar de la Hoya, and other also lace on their gloves.
Joseph McCarthy says he’s a tough and dedicated guy in the boxing ring and U.S. Senate. Richard Nixon denies he’s an awkward, resentful, and paranoid president. Fidel Castro asserts he’s an appealing and inevitable historical character while embracing megalomania. And all three frigid warriors tell their stories as they fight again.
Category Archives: Writers
It was only a teaser, that’s all it was, the video and article on a boxing website about actor Rip Torn hammering would-be thespian Norman Mailer on his crown and thereafter grappling with the bloodied writer as the latter’s wife cursed Torn and his children cried to cease hostilities. The august site of online pugilistic […]
don’t want whole beer only half enough to fall
My name’s Malek Jandali. I compose classical music, play the piano in concerts around the world, and am an artist who loves everyone, though this Sunday afternoon, in the same Hammer Museum theater where I’ll perform tomorrow, I’m not discussing international harmony; I’m talking about mass murder in Syria. The town where I was raised, […]
Criticize Gunter Grass not for being anti-Semitic, which he isn’t, but for choosing the wrong medium to present “What Must Be Said” about the dangers and inequities of Israeli foreign policy. In the second stanza Grass is poetic rather than precise in stating Israel plans “a strike to snuff out the Iranian people.” The descendents […]
novels over written short stories over written poetry
It can’t be too late. This is a meeting so compelling and mandatory that all rules, technicalities, and encumbrances must be ignored. It doesn’t matter they are dead. It doesn’t matter they never knew each other. It doesn’t matter they were married. It matters only that the proper time be chosen, a common instant that […]
Early morning on a July second Ernest Hemingway, battered by decades of alcoholism, assailed by a brain injured in one car and two plane crashes, haunted by a lifelong fear of inherited mental illness and certain that it and rapid aging had forever rendered him paranoid and defeated, quietly arose from a bedroom separate from […]
An acquaintance who’s a stripper in the hardscrabble Merrimack River valley north of Boston recently invited me to her club to meet a man called Devin Wallace in the memoir “Townie” by Andre Dubus III, son of the esteemed short story writer, now deceased, and himself an author of three novels and a collection of […]
In the twilight of their lives the once-intransigent Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul, have begun behaving in at least moderately encouraging ways. Fidel recently summoned writer Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine and told him President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran was outrageous for demanding the destruction of Israel and a nincompoop for continuing to insist […]
Edgar Allan Poe, despite working for Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, seemed not to understand the implication of my being William E. Burton: I paid ten dollars a week, more than sufficient compensation starting in June 1839, and expected him to be a dutiful and deferential editorial assistant. I realized many readers considered Poe brilliant, particularly after […]
My family and I are profoundly distressed by Edgar Allen Poe’s recent short story “The Fall of the House of Usher”. We, who so often said yes when this forlorn orphan begged to visit, now learn he considers our home “melancholy” and one which pervades his spirit “with a sense of insufferable gloom.” Had Poe […]
I hated gossip about Eddy living with his “child cousin.” I wasn’t a child but a young lady only three months short of fourteen. Eddy still made sure our marriage bond said I was twenty-one. That afternoon in May 1836 a smiling minister married us in our boarding house. My mother and our landlord and […]
When Aunt Maria’s mother died her pension was also buried and that night Edgar Allan Poe raged to dig it up. Aunty and Virginia guided him into bed from which he two days later arose dazed but determined to be responsible. Aunty had become his real mother and Virginia, though only age thirteen, was already […]
Eddie was a sweet boy who loved me and my young daughter Virginia. He tried to help but except selling a young slave I’d inherited he couldn’t make any money for us despite writing hours a day. Our best prospect was John Allan, and sometimes I wrote him Eddie deserved to do well and would […]
Not critically but with pride I suggest that for his third book, Poems, Edgar had copied some of my stanzas. I also concede I might have borrowed some of his. I couldn’t guarantee much in the spring of 1831. Once, I had appeared an impressive big brother, donning the uniform of a merchant marine and […]
In person I may have addressed my foster father John Allan as Pa but in my heart and with others I called him a tyrant who, despite his wealth, denied sufficient funds for dignified survival at the University of Virginia, sentencing me to dress inelegantly and use my own hands to tidy my room. Fellow […]
I’m head track coach at a major university and have trained some of the finest young athletes in the world. I don’t recruit anyone lacking potential to place high and score points in important meets. That I explained to members of a literary society when they presented physical data about Edgar Allan Poe. He was […]
Convinced of my correctness I sailed from Scotland to America at age sixteen and immediately began as a clerk in the Richmond tobacco company of my Uncle William Galt. The old bachelor was the wealthiest man in Virginia but kept me tight to business and doted on his four adopted children and four more he […]
Never had I craved anything so much as this strange and alluring task. Thousands of other doctors were clamoring for the opportunity but many piously claimed personal considerations were more important still. That disqualified them, I am sure. Only a man obsessed was fit to lead a scientific revolution, and only I was poised to […]
In more than thirty years representing actresses I had never received such an astonishing application. At first, naturally, I considered it a hoax. Eliza Poe, claiming to have been born more than two centuries ago in England, wrote that she most urgently needed to meet me. Ordinarily it is difficult approaching impossible to get through […]
Baltimore, MD – During forty years of torment Edgar Allen Poe was orphaned, shunned by foster parents, dismissed from the University of Virginia because of indigence, dishonorably discharged from West Point, underpaid by editors, beset by depression and other organic ailments of the brain, mired in poverty, torn by feuds personal and professional, widowed when […]
In 1988 I was struggling with alcohol and substance abuse. I doubt I would write two letters like these now, as I near my tenth anniversary of sobriety, but from a literary standpoint it’s certain I should exhume some of the anger that follows and put it on paper. May 10, 1988 Dear Norman, I’ve […]
Of thousands of piquant opinions I fired into the literary firmament one of the last was that the Internet is the most wretched invention since masturbation. Nevertheless, in my new world of decidedly more restricted options, I was thankful to be given a few hours online to read tributes and broadsides that followed my earthly […]
Since Hunter Thompson put a gun in his mouth and shot himself last week, I’ve been digging deep into the Internet and reading lots of articles about him. The first wave of stories commended his hard-punching, eye-gouging, “gonzo” style of insightful political writing in such books as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Kingdom […]