Necessary Deaths is the collection of short stories by Geoffrey Clark.
Adroitly told, Geoffrey Clark’s collection of stories Necessary Deaths will appeal to anyone who has faced difficult choices regarding the care of animals. Mr. Clark’s characters struggle to learn how to let go and confront loss. His stories examine the themes of violation of innocence, and the acceptance of required acts of violence. His characters live with animals and care for them. Through the transcendent experience of that care, they must face assumptions they’ve been living with regarding what is natural and right with and around them. As either victims or perpetrators of violence, the characters in these stories are forced to ask themselves if violence is inherent in their condition. Mr. Clark avoids glib, over-worked metaphors, and as a writer with five decades of stories behind him, he renders internal and external landscapes of his stories through a knack for the bon mot that enlightens, startles and illuminates. Peppered with trenchant details, cadenced in a laconic, sometimes very funny Mid-western narrative voice, each story resonates long after it’s been read. The stories are polished without being pompous, and charged with a vivid, consistent accuracy. The best, culled from earlier collections, poignantly evoke a time gone by in northern Michigan during the post World War II years, and Mr. Clark addresses without nostalgia the hardscrabble innocence and complexities of rural life in that region and era. There is authenticity, skill and subtlety in the telling. Mr. Clark does not disappoint; he deserves a wide readership.
— John Flynn is author of Something Grand, a collection of stories, and several volumes of poetry and translations.