Drive, Dive, Dance & Fight is a book of eight short stories on the themes of youth, growth, and discovery. Four stories in this volume were nominated for a Pushcart Prize!
Thomas E Kennedy has a knack for creating distinctive main characters. His second compilation, containing eight more of short stories, does nothing but further his reputation. What makes his writing special is the adept way he slides readers into the character's heads. They are accessible, realistic and hard to forget. One of his best characters is Fred Bonner, the title character of "Bonner's Women". Other excellent characters can be found in "A Clean Knife", "Kansas City" and the title story "Drive, Dive, Dance and Fight". All of the stories feature strong main characters but these four stand out as having the best of the best. Obviously, Kennedy's great characterization wouldn't be worth a hill of beans if he didn't incorporate them into satisfying plots. No doubt drawing a great percentage of his ideas from past experiences-his plots are vibrant, contemplative and most importantly identifiable. And that's the key word when it comes, not only to this compilation, but to Kennedy's writing as a whole: identifiable. -- Factsheet Five, Spring 1998
Kennedy's characters are full, alive, and each story is rich and deep. He writes with wisdom, and it is perhaps that wisdom which turns some of his stories of great sorrow into something triumphant. The title story is worth the book's price. It is funny, gloomy, terrifying, and joyful. --Andre Dubus
The American short story is a thriving art form, and no one embodies its vitality, range and depth more energetically than Thomas E. Kennedy. His stories pulse with humor, moral edge, and a deep sympathy for the human predicament. --James Carroll, 1996 National Book Award for American Requiem
Intense, humorous, sexually charged, emotionally powerful, the stories in Thomas E Kennedy's Drive, Dive, Dance & Fight brilliantly mine the hidden recesses of the human heart. Kennedy is a dazzling writer, literary, compelling and profound. --Duff Brenna
Excellent reading for those who value meditative, beautiful storytelling.—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (starred review) ...
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