If stories involving intellectual chickens, talking houseplants, foul-smelling snowmen and sombrero-wearing maggots are your thing, Jim Knipfel has a book for you. His newest offering, These Children Who Come at You with Knives, is a set of off-kilter short stories with plots and characters usually found in the dreams--or, rather, the nightmares--of dark-hearted teenage boys.
Knipfel, a native of Green Bay, is known primarily for his memoirs Slackjaw and Quitting the Nairobi Trio, books which can provide useful insight into the creative mind behind these stories. The stories Knipfel tells here typically involve lonely or down-on-their-luck people visited upon by seemingly magical creatures promising easy ways out of personal or financial ruts. Others involve social misfits enduring humiliating treatment at the hands of the selfish and powerful. All are told in a kind of "fractured fairy tale" style that is both hilarious and discomfiting, often leaving the reader both squirming and snickering at the end of each story. If your reading tastes veer towards the offbeat and sarcastic, you will find much to enjoy in These Children Who Come at You with Knives, and while you're at it, check out some of Jim Knipfel's other stuff too.
Submitted by Brett @ Washington Park