“Jealous Husband Returns in the Form of Parrot”
I never can quite say as much as I know. I look at other parrots and I wonder if it’s the same for them, if somebody is trapped in each of them paying some kind of price for living their life in a certain way. For instance, “Hello,” I say and I’m sitting on a perch in a pet store in Houston and what I’m really thinking is Holy shit. It’s you. And what’s happened is I’m looking at my wife.
“Hello,” she says, and she comes over to me and I can’t believe how beautiful she is. Those great brown eyes, almost as dark as the center of mine. And her nose—I don’t remember her for her nose but its beauty is clear to me now. Her nose is a little too long, but it’s redeemed by the faint hook to it.
“It is Mr. Butler’s genius in this volume to lure an audience into the tent by shouting versions of the tabloids’ headlines… and then providing more than the customer has been led to expect. Turning the lurid third-person titles of his stories into direct testimony from the principles, Mr. Butler often transforms the material’s coarseness—and a reader’s anticipated guffaws—into lyricism and wonder.”
– Thomas Mallon, The New York Times Book Review
“To see, to know, to touch, to remember—these desires have always been at the heart of great fiction. They are here in abundance, along with the skewed and comic tenderness that is Butler’s greatest gift as a writer. You start to read these stories and laugh; then, sucker-punched, you see the sadness and sweetness in each one.”
– New Orleans Times-Picayune
“Tabloid Dreams is an unrepeatable feat, a tour de force.”
– The Washington Post Book World
“In this new collection of stories, Butler has taken a ham’s material and fashioned it into a dozen artful and wondrous tales, once again proving himself to be the rarest kind of writer, one who can’t be pigeonholed, who doesn’t rely on a set, safe shtick but keeps challenging himself with new and varied material.”
– Chicago Tribune