Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"nothing more to tell" / stories by george dila

After a decade of email exchanges, not to mention a soon-to-be single’s lifestyle where I can do whatever I please (within the boundaries of good decency and affordability) I finally met fellow writer George Dila. He’s the Director of the Ludington Visiting Writers. Dila appeared at the Lido Art Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan, a few weeks ago and read from his latest short story collection “nothing more to tell.” Not only is Dila an excellent orator, he can sing too. He sang a few lines of “Betcha by Golly” by The Stylistics, taking on the persona of the title story’s protagonist, Vincent Root, as he drove through the dreamy tourist town of Mayesville while listening to an oldies station. Dila reads:

He and Mary had loved that album, playing it over and over again. He still liked the sound, even the sentiment, although it seemed so corny now. Corny, and not a little ironic. Ever will love keep growing strong, my ass.

As I sat in the audience listening, I couldn’t help but sympathize with Vincent Root. He suffered from a tragedy far worse than his failed marriage, a tragedy in the making as he navigated his Buick Roadmaster around the block to steal another glimpse at two young teenage girls that reminded him of ponies, or maybe otters, their bodies sleek and joyful, their movements fluid and confident, the rhythm of their gestures a bit arrogant and slightly provocative. Interestingly enough, and due to an agreed upon time restriction, if not a ploy to sell a few books, Dila left us hanging, craving for more.

Structurally, “nothing more to tell” begins with a couple of third person narratives, first Vincent himself, then Bob & Jill Regan grieving over the loss of their son who ran into the incoming path of Vincent’s Buick, and finally the first person narrative of Sherriff Parsons. The story is masterfully done, the POV shifts smooth and credible, and the ending is well worth the purchase of the book.

I’d like to tell you more, and there is more to tell, but since I’m living out of boxes and sneaking internet from fast food chains and coffee shops, I've decided to end my review now. But hey, there are eight more wonderful stories in this collection worth reading. I strongly recommend “nothing more to tell.” For more information, click here: .

Pictured from left to right: JR & George