Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Slight Kink, Stories by Steven Jacklin, reviewed by Sherry Isaac

You remember a writer’s work for one of two reasons: either it was complete rubbish, or it was entertaining, well-written prose that stirred a little something in your soul and made a connection. I remembered Steven Jacklin and his short stories from a creative writing course I took several years ago for reason #2 – they're good!

A Slight Kink features stories of everyday life with an off-kilter, or shall I say, kinked point of view. With deft pen and able voice, Steven wades into the unpredictable waters of male-female relationships. Sometimes the water is calm, once in a while there are rapids, yet at the end of every tale Steven brings his reader to shore with the finesse and cunning of a cat landing on softly padded paws.

Simplicity and clarity rule; details resonate. In "A Picture At An Exhibition" the main character, Kevin, comments, "I was wearing my old contact lenses, my last set of monthlies, now six months old."

"Green With N.V." takes the reader through "a world of pine nuts and yams." Teenage lust comes alive in "I Saw Her Standing There." Trevor, who longs only to kiss Maureen, laments, "Sam, our singer, had gone even further—he was taking off bras."

But enough of the frilly talk. As I sat in a curve-backed chair on the second floor of Timothy’s on Lakeshore, I turned page after page, entertaining those around me with my random giggles and snorts. More than once, "Story Time" had latte dripping out of my nose. The writing is both fresh and refreshing, fun and, as Derek, the father in The Camping Crusade might say, a wee bit like being "suspended in a paradise of bliss and buttermilk."

All in all, A Slight Kink is a light and thoroughly enjoyable read. Thank you, Steven. It was a real treat to read your book, and a great honour to review it.

A Slight Kink is available through Steven Jacklin’s website:

Sherry Isaac’s work has been published in Quick Brown Fox and New Mystery Reader. Her short story, "The Forgetting," placed first in the Alice Munro Contest in 2009. Her newsletter, Wildflower, features up and coming writers in the GTA. Visit Sherry on the web at

For information about Brian Henry's writing worskhops and creative writing courses, see here.

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