… strange, articulated, cinematic prose, which leaves out nothing, not the gesture of a hand, a noise from the street, comes into its own. He is not straining his medium; he modulates it to perfection.
The Broad Back of the Angel
Thirteen stories about love.
In the “Magician in Love” stories a celebrated performer withdraws from the stage to devote his bizarre and wonderful talents to the keeping of a good woman’s love. In the “For Love of” series a mysterious Mexican, descendant of Zapata, dresses up in a white suit to conduct purification rites for needy North American females. Elsewhere, a speaker for “Dangerous Women” sends out her signals from the love parlor to all potential lovers, while a nice guy named Rodin risks his neck struggling for “Friendship” through a pair of disarmingly innocent tales. Meantime, back at the nursing home, a beleaguered young patient discovers the key to “Iron Woman” and unlocks the gate for women everywhere. And in the title story a doomed paraplegic abandons his wheel chair and his closet philosophy to instruct Death’s Messenger in the works of love.
Truly exceptional … Choice … perceived through a highly developed, selective eye, and almost breathed onto the page.
Though Rooke calls Sherwood Anderson, J.D. Salinger and Hemingway, he has created his own fictional world, fashioned his own accomplished style.