Monday, August 4, 2008

Not Happy!

Short stories by Mathias B. Freese
134 pages.

Reviewed by King Wenclas.

"--Jon feels that early events and individuals, for whatever reasons which up to this day he can't sort out, deeply imprinted upon him."

Mathias is a psychotherapist and that's how his stories read. Most are unbearably solipsistic, plunging the reader into depths of self-observation, the torpid trivial traumas of childhood, the overcoming of which is the signal of adulthood, but not for author Freese! He's still wringing his hands over the overbearing father kicking aside his shoeshine kit ideas and other such unhappy brutalities. "Woe is me!"

Yes, this world is full of assholes, many of them, and Mathias B. Freese is adept at portraying them-- not overcoming them but in a limp beaten-down way enduring them-- including the brutal father; including a fictional Arnold Schwarzenegger satirized in the collection's most entertaining piece. The rest are tales for the psychoanalyzed; the self-obsessed "deeply imprinted" with something they're still trying to sort out: resting on couches while Dr. Freese murmurs encouragingly; muttering woefully to him, "Why? Why? Why me?"

Which is what I was saying to myself, having received the book, while reading it.


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