Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor:
Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA;
Journal Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia
Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University.
The 16 well-crafted short stories in Liam Durcan’s collection A Short Journey by Car strike diverse and complex notes.
Some are chilly, some surreal, some funny, some cryptic. Most of them, in
one way or another, are variations on the theme stated in the title of the
collection and its lead-off story, which begins with a heart-stopping rap
on the door summoning a Moscow dentist to a midnight ride with KGB men, who
take him to the chambers of Comrade Leader Stalin in the grips of a dental
emergency. As the final story, wryly titled “American Standard,”
ends, a Canadian smuggler of contraband super-flush toilets is bogged down
in the heavy traffic of a customs lane approaching the US border.
Graham PW. Fiction. JAMA. 2005;293(19):2414-2418. doi:10.1001/jama.293.19.2414-b