Gabe Meline of the Bohemian just reviewed The Ice Cream Vendor's Song :
Brevity is the soul of flash fiction, and to do it well, one must have a concept and execute it with no wasted words. Far too often, logorrhea remains hard to restrain for most authors. Conversely, 'The Ice Cream Vendor's Song' (Wordforest; $8.95) benefits from Sonoma County author Laura McHale Holland's compact vision. In stories as short as four sentences, she's able to convey a full picture, or at least enough of the full picture for readers to want desperately to fill in the details on their own. There's a subtle Raymond Carver streak running beneath Holland's stories, and a story like "Still There," in which a man is telling a woman he's had enough, appears to veer into "Little Things" territory from the start. Holland is smarter than that, though, and the twist that comes five paragraphs later is entirely unexpected. Those who enjoy short reads with plenty of imagery and context left the imagination will want to seek out this collection.—G.M.