The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction. with literary quizzes, book reviews and interviews
The Barcelona Review. International Review of Contemporary Fiction

Welcome to issue 108. We kick off this issue with a story by Alejandro Varela, Grand Openings. It plays with alternate life trajectories of an interracial gay couple, which see them as a couple, a throuple and variations thereof. Not without humor, it shows the beauty and chaos of relationships, structured after Margaret Atwood’s “Happy Endings.”

Next up is Jayson and the Liquor Store by Larry Fondation.  Set in South Central L.A., we get a glimpse of life in the projects where local guy Jayson thinks it’s cool to brag about robbing a liquor store and wielding a gun though his buddies think it’s “horseshit.”  It’s all about impressing the beautiful but aloof Marta whom they all long for.  And then the years go by.

Stepping back to 1991 we have Zagreb Boys by Christopher Linforth, showing two young delinquents trying to make their way in the midst of the country’s fight for independence by way of muggings, drugs and the pursuit of a disco dancer, showing us that life goes on even during war, but how much does war shape those lives?  

Lastly, there is A Veteran Heel by Brian Hawkins, which follows a slightly over-the-hill pro wrestler on a low-level circuit where there are always plenty of “ring rats”; i.e., groupies. It has its fair share of wrestling jargon, which you’ll get mainly by context, but did you know that “heel” means “bad guy” or “rule breaker,” and acts as the antagonist to the “good guy”? The one to bring “heat” (boos and jeers) from the audience.

In our picks from back issues— From the U.S. we have Somebody is Going to Have to Pay for This by Benjamin Percy, and from the U.K., The Woman Who Lived in a Restaurant by Leone Ross. Two super stories from our archives.

The quiz this issue is Social Media in Literature.  For answers to last issue’s quiz, A.I. in Literature., click here

Our book review this issue is All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby, a new crime novel by the author of Blacktop Wasteland and  Razorblade Tears.

Our next issue is due out in Jan 2024. To be notified when new issues are available, just ‘LIKE’ The Barcelona Review on Facebook (for the Spanish, LIKE Barcelona Review without the THE); or email us to subscribe (gratis, of course), though often our bulk email is blocked from servers so we cannot guarantee a notification.

Jill Adams, editor
Michael Garry Smout, tech and design
Diggory Dunn, assistant editor #108

Readers:  Rachel Ballenger, Diggory Dunn, Joe Fitt-Palmer, Hallie Pritts, Milena Nigam and Sam Simon

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