9781908754165-lst110519Reviewed by Alisha Churbe

LoveSexTravelMusik is collection of short stories that promise to “examine the impact of cheap international travel on modern lives and relationships.” With that promise, the collection falls short. I went into this collection excited to read a collection of travel memoir-esque stories. I was disappointed. The collection is not travel memoir, and maybe that was my mistake. In fact, many of the stories did not address travel at all, some merely implied that the appearance of a certain character in a situation implied that travel of some sort had occurred.

What Glass’s collection does explore is the consequence of more affordable travel. We can experience new things and we can run much further from ourselves and our problems. If you go into this collection with this as your guide and are comfortable with modern writing, you’ll most likely enjoy this book.

Not all the stories in the book have a defined destination or location, some merely hint at where they could be while others seem to avoid the topic entirely. For example, in “I Know my Team and I Shall not be Moved,” after a significant amount of time, a daughter comes to talk with her ailing father at his retirement facility. Basic conversations are difficult with him due to his advanced aged and she’s been warned not to upset him. The story is not about travel, but since she has arrived and it has been some time, travel is implied. In “A Weekend of Freedom,” the location will get called out as only, “Some hole in Eastern Europe.” In others like, “Intervention,” the story is set entirely between a flight landing (this one is described: London to Glasgow) and the character returning to his home. The collection is an array of snippets, oddly edited photographs, what I can only characterize as unfinished or fragmented, and a dozen or so full stories. Many of these stories are well written and intriguing. The characters are usually interesting enough to read through, the situations pose questions about relationships, emotions, and consequences.

Glass explores second person narration and is fairly successful at it in most instances. He uses slang liberally in most of his stories whether it fits or not. He relies on formatting to assist with point of view changes. His writing is what some would call “cutting edge” and “modern,” however I found it difficult to keep my attention. Glass does a successful job of writing from different points of view (man, woman, old, young, etc.), although, in some stories, it will take time to pick up the sex of the character. The voices tend to be flat and because you move from one to the story to the next quickly, they tend to sound the same.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Part-time fiction writer, Alisha Churbe lives in Portland, Oregon. In the rare instances when you can pry her away from books, Alisha can be found travelling in foreign countries, cooking, or hiking with her husband Michael and dog Euro.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Freight Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.