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Less successful stories such as Large Garbage and Refugee Love rely so heavily on the oddity of the idea behind the story that the story itself suffers. Minus the unlikely premise, the characters were too loosely sketched to care much about, and the premise itself wasn't enough to carry the story to the end in any meaningful way.

Radio Belly, by Buffy Cram

Large Garbage — about a roving band of homeless intellectuals and poets invading banal suburbs — had a predictable resolution and some obvious moral-of-the-stories from the Occupy days. But those weaker stories are the exception. Radio Belly is a fun ride through some strange places, and Cram is a whip-smart storyteller who aims to shake up our reading expectations in ways that delight and surprise. Zoe Whittall is a novelist and poet living in Toronto, who will admit to a brief Deadhead phase in This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way.

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Read our community guidelines here. Article text size A. Open this photo in gallery: Buffy Cram, author Handout. Special to The Globe and Mail. Published May 25, Updated April 30, Story continues below advertisement. Follow us on Twitter globebooks Opens in a new window. Report an error Editorial code of conduct. Log in Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe?

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Should not be exposed to displays of sickness, grief, shame. May contain traces of fraudulence. I actually enjoyed the beginning, before it got into all the Grateful Dead stuff, since I've never listened to the band and all the connections and symbols just didn't make sense to me.

Radio Belly: Stories

It might work better for an older, or more musically literate, reader. It's filled with Cram's strange images and comparisons like, "I was wondering how, exactly, was I different from this mushroom? I ate, I slept, I too grew larger and paler by the day. In many ways, they were also the most normal. In the first, a young woman goes to teach English in a war-torn country, and although "Mrs. English Teacher" is filled with social commentary, the way it is shared often veered on slightly boring for me.

Radio Belly: Stories by Buffy Cram

Cram has such a vivid imagination, and in these two stories, it doesn't feel like it is reaching its full potential. In contrast, the title story, "Radio Belly" and the final one in the collection, "Floatables: A History" were both incredibly odd and incredibly wonderful. Overall, Radio Belly was a strange and enjoyable collection of stories. Even though a couple missed the mark for me, I found myself loving Cram's quirky and original perspective, as well as her observant description and unique story-telling.

Readers looking for a fresh short story collection, or even just something a little out of the ordinary, would be well served by picking up Radio Belly and I am excited to see what Cram publishes next. Find this review and more on inthenextroom. Apr 17, Steffy rated it it was ok. I read Radio belly.


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  6. It was well written and every original….. Oct 18, Clara rated it really liked it. A solid assortment of stories with great humour and upturns of hope woven throughout.

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    Sep 01, greg rated it really liked it. Nice to see such a quirky imagination at work. Reality is no impediment to the happenings in these short stories, as Cram's characters work out the kinks in their daily lives. Nick Brown rated it liked it Jan 11, Lisa rated it really liked it Oct 30, Ali rated it it was amazing Feb 17, Chantale rated it really liked it Oct 15, Erin-brooke Kirsh rated it liked it Mar 16, Danika rated it liked it Jun 03, Marie-Therese rated it really liked it Sep 20, Benjamin rated it liked it Jun 06, Susan Phillips rated it really liked it Aug 13, Danielle rated it it was amazing Jun 22, Mary Alice rated it it was amazing Feb 17, Charlene rated it really liked it Jun 11, Victoria Bell rated it it was amazing Mar 19, David rated it really liked it Jun 07, Geoffrey rated it liked it Apr 23, Kika Mueller rated it it was amazing Apr 01, Dianne Di-yang rated it it was ok May 23, Leah Mol rated it really liked it Aug 06, Henrik Rostoft rated it did not like it Oct 14, Meghan rated it liked it Dec 31, Kelly rated it it was amazing Sep 02, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.