Living in Little Rock with Miss Little Rock

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Charles Morrison’s profession is the law, but his hobby is politics, an interesting arena for a man who’s also a science fiction aficionado and an atheist. His wife, Lianne, still refers to her “nineteen-sixty-oops” Miss Little Rock title, but her laurels rest on the fact that until recently she anchored the local news.

They’re the perfect couple—when their constant bickering slacks off—the chic, attractive pair at the heart of Little Rock’s social and political epicenter. All runs smoothly until the state legislature enacts the Creation Science bill, which the Morrisons abhor, but which Sonny Raymond, the Lord High Bailiff and Charles’ political rival, supports. It’s then that things happen that have Charles and Lianne up in arms and at each other’s throats. It’s then that the action really begins.

Ultimately, LIVING IN LITTLE ROCK WITH MISS LITTLE ROCK is a shameless romp written to shock. The book begins, “Howdy, I’m the Holy Ghost. Talk about your omniscient narrators. What’s the differential in me and a computer program writes poetry? None. Nothing. Time. The red-haired pretty-girl.”

The narrator’s voice is that of a wise-cracking spirit with an attitude, and the result is an always funny, often startling, sometimes poignant read. One of the book’s closing sentences states, “And that’s it for him. He’s out of here, he’s history—the way you like to say it now, so cute and trendy. We like to think it matters, we like to think there’s something just a little timeless there, the unexpected clown, buffoon, the fat man red with love, carrot stick in the jaws of the ticking crocodile, the ruin of a slick and cruel icon, busted perfection, the grease spot as stained glass windows: We like to think there’s something going on, a joke that could let us exist someday, a way to die, be born, grow up and marry You.”

Jack Butler is a natural and a rousing storyteller from whom readers are sure to see more.