The Booked. Anthology Review 3: “California Oregon” by Cameron Pierce

I’m beginning to wonder if, maybe, the guys of Booked. Podcast might have some sort of connect with a pharmaceutical company or somesuch. The Booked. Anthology opens with the rural, grizzly tragedy in “A Pound of Flesh.” The second story is Clevenger‘s “The Confession of Adelai Shade,” a tale of a gangster trying to do right by the prettiest lady he’s ever seen. And then there’s the third story, “California Oregon,” by Cameron Pierce.

Pierce’s addition to this anthology is a second-person point of view tale that pits you, the protagonist, in an either-or, two dimensional story. You either live in the polished cul-de-sac dimension of Bakersfield, California, or the middle-of-nowhere wilderness dimension of Oregon, after “your” parents split and go their separate ways. Some of the life events remain the same, like the big plot twist toward the end, jettisoning “you” into either soul-sucking downward spiral of tragedy. However, the fallout of some of these events result in different consequences, different branches of woe in this family tree of doom.

Much like its predecessors, “California Oregon,” is shotgun-riddled with gloom. That’s life sometimes, though, right? Authors have been brandishing the human condition with an ivory engraved handle for centuries, and The Booked. Anthology, so far, has been flashing that mother like its the new kid in town. “California Oregon” is a fast paced read. But like the previous pieces, and no doubt, the remaining stories, it packs an emotional punch with sharp language, characters, and situations, that are real and easily identifiable. Cameron Pierce, author of titles such as, Ass Goblins of Auschwitz and Die You Doughnut Bastards, editor of anthologies like, Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and In Heaven, Everything Is Fine: Fiction Inspired by David Lynch, and the editor of Lazy Fascist Press, continues to prove that Booked. knows what you should be reading.

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