Harris Joanne

Jogs & Reels

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Santrauka: There are of course, stories of pure delight in the collection (such as the first story, “Faith and Hope Go Shopping” and the impish, “Al and Christine’s World of Leather”). Harris also illustrates how powerful the short story genre can be, as with “Fule’s Gold”, a neat tale of greed and the retribution of the heavens and in “Any Girl Can Be a CandyKiss Girl!” which suggests that the real molesters of our children may be corporate marketers and fashion chains who willingly use emerging sexuality against beings too young to understand the manipulative quality of profiteers, increasingly demanding that children sacrifice the innocence of youth for the avariciousness of sexual experimentation. Although all stories in the collection are meritorious, I found “Last Train to Dogtown” and “The Spectator” to be particularly fine. “Last Train to Dogtown” appears to be a case of Harris seeking to haunt herself with her own version of an author’s ultimate nightmare. “The Spectator” is sadder however. It alludes to society’s recent and illogically obsessive belief that the paedophile is the worst criminal who has ever existed, and how this has led many to seek out possible candidates to persecute. In such a climate, evidence becomes secondary to prejudice and mob rule. Harris’s forward to this story seeks to explain this, but the strength lies in the power of her prose, having the ability to affect those not yet aware of the injustices possible when crimes are mediated by public opinion. “Jigs and Reels” is a wonderful collection of short stories. Harris proves that the short story medium can deliver satisfying and lingeringly powerful works that can be revisited again and again.

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