Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Boho Press
Release Date: January 2004
ISBN: 1-904781-01-2
Format Reviewed: Trade Paperback
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Genre: Fiction – Short Stories
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Kristin Johnson
Reviewer Notes: Kristin Johnson, the founder of, released her second book, CHRISTMAS COOKIES ARE FOR GIVING, co-written with Mimi Cummins, in October 2003. Her third book, ORDINARY MIRACLES: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey, co-written with Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D., is now available from PublishAmerica.

The Rainbow Man and other stories
By David Gardiner

      James Joyce meets Ray Bradbury in David Gardiner’s collection of tales wrapped in the imaginings of children who hear a Cassandra/Wandering Jew-type sage mutter such things as “Ye know the trouble with youse northerners, your memories is too bloody long!”

       Harlan Ellison might have written “Letting Go,” inspired by this fictional Delphic aphorism, if ANGRY CANDY Ellison considered that a victim of the Holocaust might need to let go of the past. Like all of Gardiner’s tales, the denouement of “Letting Go” is bound in a taut rainbow circle love-knot that contains truth. From the secretly vengeful ex-nun propitiating a religious fraud on a smugly progressive church in “Immaculata” to the lovelorn man and woman in “Blind Date,” each thinking the other is too good for them, Gardiner’s characters face the loneliness of illusion and the loneliness of truth. As the war criminal of “Letting Go” asks, “That’s all you want of me? The truth? A small thing like that?”

      As Gardiner’s returning prodigal Irish son in “The Lies of Sleeping Dogs” discovers, the pretty truth is often the only comfort we have. The young narrator of “The Oracle at the Adelphi” learns that hell and heaven often come from the same source, and the fire of the Adelphi parallels the blaze planned by the Sir Lancelot-channeling protagonist of “Knight Errant.” Fire and rain recur like yin and yang in Gardiner’s stories.

      It always rains in Ireland, from the foreboding drizzle of “The Lies of Sleeping Dogs” to the cleansing downpour that enables the Galahad-esque Benny of “Hand of God” to save a young Muslim woman fleeing an arranged marriage. The rain of Heaven and the storms in Gardiner’s universe blow into our lives not only devils and voodoo priests, but angels as well, and sometimes no one can tell the difference. As Benny’s Fatima (Our Lady of Fatima?) explains, “Perhaps that’s all an angel is: an ordinary man that Allah trusts.”

      Through the prism of Gardiner’s lens, angels, rain and light combine to create the Rainbow Man’s remarkable bag of wisdom that adults and children alike need to open.