by John Pringle
Over the course of my time in Thunder Bay, trying to get a feel of the local writing scene, I have picked up various publications and occasionally found myself reading a John Pringle short story. Given that they’re usually the best of the best writing that the region has offered me, I picked up The Truth Ratio without hesitation, assuming it would contain more exceptional tales. To my delight, it does.
To begin with, I will admit I wasn’t in love with the stories. Yes, everything was enjoyable and competent, but it wasn’t until Fragments––which, incidentally, isn’t particularly far into the collection––that Pringle really starts to showcase the immensely creative ways he can tell a story. As the collection progresses, not only does a diversity in writing become clear, but, if you look carefully, you start to be able to see many of the greats in the Pringle’s style: the evocative prose of Burroughs; the bleak, but hopeful, voice of Kerouac; the structure and presentation of Vonnegut. What comes across is an author who is very well read and works hard to perfect his craft.
While I didn’t absolutely love every story as I did with a few––far and above the rest was definitely Seeds––I liked them all. There’s no doubt in my mind that Pringle is the most talented writer in the Thunder Bay region.