I Threw a Brick Through a Window
Bruce Ray, 102 pgs, Boxer Press, boxerpress.com, $20
I Threw a Brick Through a Window is the unfortunate telling of what we are, where we came from, and where we might go. I use the term “we,” because no one is exempt from these stories.
The 10 narratives Ray explores though both image and text are a unique reading experience. While many graphic short stories let the reader completely immerse themselves in what they’re reading, I Threw a Brick does something different. See, the literature is not amazing, and at times the writing seems like step-by-step instructions instead of story. But instead of hindering the reading experience, it instead pushes the reader to reflect in real-time on the events they encounter here.
I’ve never had an experience like that of “Bohemia.” True, I’ve never left my home to end up living with a strange man, getting into drugs, and finding a dead body (spoiler alert?). But even though I haven’t done those exact things, I do know the feeling of going through the motions, of getting so lost in a situation that you’re suddenly some-where you wouldn’t have thought possible. Ray’s stories consistently interrogate that connection to some deeper, invisible force.
There is magic here. Literal uses of magic in the stories, but for the reader, too. Every book allows the chance to learn, this one just pushes you to learn from yourself in a weird and special way.