zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Sunday, April 30, 2017

I Need a Bike

I Need a Bike
Joseph Carlough
*note: permission to use direct quotes authorized by author*

14 Pages
Card-stock and Printer Paper
Size: Mini
$2.00 + Shipping

"I Need a Bike" is short story zine by Joseph Carlough that describes a brief period in the narrator's 14-year-old life where he is trying to paint a deck in order to get the bike of his dreams - a "Speedliner X-720, complete with 12 speeds, front and rear brakes, racing stripes and a bitching amount of pride."
The zine is simple in design - card-stock front with white pages, all printed with story.

In the story, the main character is set on getting his dream bike. In the span of 14 pages, you are introduced to several characters - the narrator, his best friend, his best friend's mother, and his best friend's mother's ex-husband. While the last of these is never really presented in any direct contact with the main character, it is still a vital point in the story.

Needless to say, this story was brilliant in its own little way. Reading through the story gave me a great nostalgia feeling with vibes of A CHRISTMAS STORY to even hints of J.D. Salinger wit. And, by the end, it had me gasping for air and on the verge of tears, I have to admit.

Speaking of the end, the conclusion to this short story perfectly completes it and is exactly what I like to see in a great ending, By the end of it, your heart is aching, yet it wraps up the story enough to where you're like "Okay...I understand." Ending it where it ends and not continuing to add information makes this short story what it is.

In critique, however, I would have definitely liked to have seen slightly more backstory as you are introduced to his best friend and her mother, but no story is perfect and some of the wit woven in saves it in this case. (One of my favourite lines, for example: "[Her] mom could make the president's jaw drop, and while it was dropped she could walk up and take his wallet and no one would do a damn hing about it."

In the end, this story brings on an emotional sense of looking back at when you were fourteen, the relationships you had with other people, and how quickly those relationships can come to an end. ~

Purchase a copy on Etsy.

Author Social Media: Instagram, Website

Review by Daniel Peralta
Completed on 4/30/2017; 12:59 P.M. CST

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