Here I Thought I was Normal

Satullo, Frank Rocco.  Here I Thought I was Normal.  Middletown, Ohio; ZoneFree Publishing, 2013.

You have likely been in the situation.  You are in a conversation with an acquaintance who begins telling an episode from his or her life.  This may be an absurd story, a bizarre tale that has no explanation, or often a sentimental story (likely to involve some children you may or may not be familiar).  The story may not leave much of an impression, or you may be thinking about it weeks later.  Years later you may remember the story but forget the storyteller.  It is an anecdote, the casual form of how tales are told in conversation.  If you wrote such a conversation down, it would likely require no more than 500 words (about the length of this review).

Frank Rocco Satullo has put together a hundred plus anecdote in his collection of micro-memoirs Here I Thought I was Normal.  It works.  There is no real continuation between one story and another, other than names and places reappearing, but read together they tell a life story similar to more traditional memoirs.    This can be seen in how the trouble young Satullo gets into (less mean-spirited, more having a “knack for adventure”) in his early stories about growing up in Avon Lakes help explain the adult narrator’s mindset in conundrums, where now others (family, neighbors, co-workers) are initiating the trouble. Continue reading