The best story in this book of short, short stories (some hardly approach 500 words) is the longest one, 'It's What It Feels Like.' Lance works the night shift and is married to Clara, whose previous husband left her for a 'high school version of herself.' Lance figures that Rob's loss is his gain until Rob's fiancé dumps him and Clara starts losing weight. Lance is a simple kind of guy, the kind who lives for the ordinary pleasures of life-watching a sunrise, extra cold beer in a chilled mug, 'listening to the sweet voice of Johnny Bucyk doing the Bruins' play-byplay.' Things get tricky when he buys a million dollar lottery ticket. As one reviewer puts it, the story's ending is worthy of O. Henry. Placed near the end of the collection, 'It's What It Feels Like' acts as ballast and sail to the rest of the stories in the book, many of which leave the reader staggering a little by the fact of their brevity and punch. A Roman Catholic, McNabb has a knack for getting his readers to think about the idea of bodies-be they buildings, the elderly or the infirm, the homeless, the religious or the refugee-in an uncompromising yet ultimately merciful way. As a cautionary word, McNabb's brand of realism tends toward the graphic (bodily speaking) and will probably not appeal to everyone. 164 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
Andrew McNabb's ethereal debut story collection, The Body of This, is a gathering of tough, close, and spiritual stories illuminating the complex architecture of people and their places.
With writing as raw as it is powerful, McNabb's stories will by turns shock and delight: a man gives up a winning lottery ticket to keep his wandering girlfriend; a Sudanese refugee discovers the simple beauty of a new way home; a mother sees her true self reflected in her newborn son's albinism; an awkward seminarian seeks a wife during a single night out. One thing is certain, these are unusual stories that will entertain and, as good fiction often does, leave the reader lightly dazed and wondering.
Informed by a deep, real-life spirituality, Andrew McNabb's award-winning stories have appeared in such diverse literary venues as The Missouri Review, and Not Safe, But Good: Best Christian Short Stories, 2007.