Vollmann is a young, ambitious writer who dares to be boring as well as to shock. Often, he does both. This collection of short stories shows him at his concise best. Themed to the colors of the rainbow, plus black, white, and the entire spectrum, it takes us to ancient Babylon and India but mostly the streets, parks, and morgue of San Francisco. The characters are whores, skinheads, x-ray patients, a bag person/serial killer, fetishists and other lost souls. With lovely, precise prose, Vollmann tracks the stinging ache of loneliness and desire, the depths of modern horror, and all of it laced with a bone-dry, bitter humor.
This report prepared by David Loftus