“Some Phantom/No Time Flat: Two Novellas”– originality and style

Beachy, Stephen.” Some Phantom/ No Time Flat”, Three Roads Press, 2007.

Originality and Style

Amos Lassen

In “Some Phantom/ No Time Flat”, Stephen Beachy shows us what originality is. He has written to consummate “noir” book which is desolate, creepy, and beautifully constructed. The book is composed of two novellas that when read together provide the reader a look at madness and crime in such beautiful language that you re kept spellbound even when you realize the emptiness of which Beachy writes. This is not a book to be read on a dark lonely night as it disturbs. We go beneath the streets of the city and find children,  “desire, cruelty and disassociation” meeting and we look at a microcosm of life in America.

These are stories about those who are alienated, those who drift and never really find their places in society and criminalized sexuality as well as in depth descriptions of life among the lost. This is scary stuff because it is so real.

“Some Phantom’ is about an unnamed woman who comes to a strange city because f a violent relationship in her past. She takes a job working with disturbed children and by doing so loses some of her own mental stability. The novella brings forth questions about “madness and memory, fantasy and abuse” and these issues are beautifully elaborated upon in the work.

“No Time Flat” is about a young guy named Wade who has lived a life of isolation with this elderly parents on the American plains. His childhood has been one of “playground shootings and mysterious strangers”. He, himself, becomes a wanderer and comes to represent the sparsity of America as well as possible crimes and missed connections,

I had to sit up several times as I read this book. It so spoke to me and said so much of what I have thought to be the case of the marginalized of our country. Beach put it down on paper and in doing so gave credence to my own personal feelings and made me feel that there are others that feel the same. This is a powerful read that cannot be taken lightly.

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