Whimsical and dolorous, ironic and absurd, this slippery assortment of stories and fragments masks existential dysphoria with deceptive simplicity and hangdog comedy—all the while asking you to read what is not there, what is also there, what is parabolic.
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Kimberlee Frederick wrote an insightful review which you can find here on the Wrong Publishing tumblr.
Zilla Novikov reviewed Melancholic Parables on the Night Beats blog.
“Stromberg gifts us a soft-spoken superhero with an all-in-one metaphysical toolbox. Bellatrix, like a Dirk Gently of reincarnation, navigates the ordinary in an extraordinary way. Encounters with to be and not to be: vulnerable yet ungovernable, tragicomic and ignormal. Shimmering reinvention. She already knows, and so will you.”
— Tucker Lieberman, author of Most Famous Short Film of All Time
“Wistful nihilism holds hands with absurd humor and lighthearted whimsy—some of the stories are almost horror, some are almost jokes. The parables challenge the very idea of an individual, consistent being and personality. We find ourselves drawn to ask how we are the same people we were in childhood, or the same people we are in dreams, or the same people we will be thirty years from now, or the same people we are when we’re blackout drunk. Maybe we’re not.”
— Briar Ripley Page, author of Corrupted Vessels
“The stories Dale writes are poignant, funny, tragic, and thought-provoking at each turn of the page. There’s a subtle and skillful dreamlike craft to the way he makes even the utterly absurd feel entirely natural in his short fictional worlds, and every story in this collection is a kind of gift: a chance to discover new perspectives.”
— Hengtee Lim, author of Something Like Hope