Everyday across the U.S., millions of people face a wide range of injustices, from harassment on the job, unfair pay, to unrelenting authoritarian bosses. For most people, retaliation is a fleeting daydream, but for a growing number of working people, standing up and fighting for their rights has become a reality. Their heroic boldness inspired the 23 short stories featured in activist/author Gregory Alan Norton's rousing new book, "An Infinity of Days in the Psychotic Atomik Empire." Norton's book delves into the tough realities of modern day Chicago and brings to life a diverse cast of characters, including college students, union organizers and telemark, who use any means they can to maintain their dignity and civil rights. Many of these stories were originally published in prominent literary publications, such as "The Princeton Arts Review" and "Tarpaulin Sky."
An Infinity of Days in the Psychotic Atomik Empire
Plain View Press (2007)
Reviewed by for Reader Views (3/07)
This is a collection of Gregory Alan Norton’s psychosocial short stories originally published in various literary magazines. The stories interlink a number of Chicago settings. His characters are a composite of college students, shop workers, telemarketers, supervisors, union organizers, and entrepreneurs.
A wide variety of everyday situations demonstrate the hopeless life cycle of drug addition, child custody battles, welfare, and the threat of unemployment. Greg’s unique brand of humor brings into play the immediate impulse to react, to resist authority when confronted with repeated indignities in the workplace.
Norton writes with subtle irony. I enjoyed the tongue in cheek humor found in the names with which he labels his villains. He writes with insight, understanding and pathos, expressing emotions on issues relating to injustice, authority, big business, union tactics, and political associations. His writing gives the perception that Greg is closely acquainted with the struggles of suburban, urban, and the inner city neighborhoods of the Chicago.
Fast moving dialogue carries the plot forward. A combination of different speech patterns, ethnic languages, dialects, and common street talk make the conversations colorful and forceful.
Gregory Alan Norton craftily cajoles and teases the reader with his devious imagination, portraying the battle of the psyche right up to his unique, unexpected, suspenseful, surprise, climatic endings. This is an exhilarating read.