For most writers a threshold separates the reading rooms of poetry and fiction where each group finds its reading entertainment. I include Kenneth Weene in the gifted literary company of Dickens, Browning J.D. Salinger and others who infused fiction with poetry as well as poetry with fiction. Weene magically brings down the dividing wall, expertly delivering the best of both worlds in his book Broody New Englander.
His writing is seamlessly smooth, a comfort to readers who prefer the comfort of enjoyable reading to that screeching annoyance of stop and go, of skipping sentences and paragraphs in an attempt to settle back into the ride. As one reader who savors every delicious word of an excellent work, I say no to rapid reading, delighting instead in Weene’s ability to string words and sentences together the way a master painter blends colors in highlights and shadows and shades.
Broody New Englander contains three stories, the longest of which, and my favorite, is entitled “The Stylite.” In it we meet the protagonist Putnam Williams who reveals his life with wife Jeannine, daughter Emily, and Delia, the other woman he loves. With the pen of Weene, he does so in a stark honesty missing from too many tales today. The local color of New England authenticates the dialogue and action. Like few other stories, readers find themselves present in the lines, nodding like New Englanders, marveling at Putnam’s tale and how cleverly the author weaves into “The Stylite” excerpts of a story within a story, Brane of the Hills, Putnam’s book about the adventures of extraterrestrials.
Readers will likewise for a long time remember the other two stories in Broody New Englander. “Mothers’ Teat” expertly presents the loss of innocence and “Hansom Dove,” one of the best horror tales I have ever read.
Few authors can pump life into a plot so that description, dialogue, narration, and conflict provide crystal-clear images in the minds of readers. It is no wonder at all that Kenneth Weene’s books are read by those who will settle for nothing less than high-quality writing. I highly recommend Broody New Englander and all of Weene’s books.
Ken Weene’s poetry, short stories, and essays can be found in various print and electronic journals and collections. His novels, Widow’s Walk, Memoirs From the Asylum, and Tales From the Dew Drop Inne are published by All Things That Matter Press, which has also published his two electronic shorts, Two Tales of Terror and El Catrin.
Ken co-hosts It Matters Radio an Internet show that airs live on Thursday evenings and also edits “The Write Room Blog,” an extremely successful writers’ blog.
His newest book Broody New Englander just came out. Times to Try the Soul of Man is scheduled to be published by All Things…this year. Currently he is working on an historical fiction of the Native American experience, Red and White.
Ken’s website is http://www.kennethweene.com
His Amazon author page is http://www.amazon.com/author/kennethweene
Sal Buttaci is a retired teacher and professor whose two short-short story collections Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts were published by All Things That Matter Press and are available at Amazon.com.
Sal Buttaci lives in West Virginia with his wife and forever love, Sharon.