Subterranean released A Voice in the Night, a short fiction collection in a limited edition two years ago. It remains available as an Ebook from Kobo, B&N Nook, Apple Books, and Amazon. The book’s title was taken from one of the stories, which reveals the passion of a young Alex Benedict for Horace Brandon, a radio performer described by Alex’s father as a comedian. But he was much more than a comedian. His accounts of everyday life, how he’d frozen in the presence of a girl he wanted to ask out, why he hates birthdays, what life would be like if we all started living forever, and so on, are entrancing. Anyone who’d been a teen in the ‘50s would probably have realized that Horace was actually Jean Shepherd.
Horace disappeared during a space flight. And Alex, some years later, has a second encounter with him.
Shep is best known today for the film “A Christmas Story.”
I still have his pastiches on a few CDs. He’s long gone now, but he’s lost nothing. Garrison Keillor and Jerry Seinfeld have both credited him as their inspiration. Last time I looked, his books are still available. I have four of them which are among the most entertaining in my library: A Fistful of Fig Newtons; In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash; The Ferrari In the Bedroom; and Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories And Other Disasters.