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Return of the Elephant
By Paul Horneschemeier
Published by AdHouse Books; $6.00 USD

Itís common in most fields of creative endeavor for an artist to follow a lengthy and/or demanding work with something a little easier. It could be almost a mental "cool down" or a way to get rid of a left-over idea or two before accreting the ideas necessary for the next big project. In this book, a cardstock-covered volume roughly the size of a racing form, Horneschemeier offers what is basically a short story, but one that requires all the meaningful pauses and careful release of clues in order to build up to the big reveal.

The story is about a man taking a half-day off from work in order to meet another man, their relationship and their plans for the day uncertain. Itís not so much a story as a creative exercise in building tension and uneasiness in the reader, and so, to reveal any more would ruin it. It is enough to say that Horneschemeier clearly achieves his creative goals, for the book is tremendously unsettling, moreso on a second reading. He also plays fair with the reader at all times, from some subtle foreshadowing to his depiction of the two men as somehow stunted and not quite physically mature, for that is the root of their problem.

-- Chris Allen



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