Sometimes You Just Don't Want to Know is one of two new Mark SaFranko short story collections from Murder Slim Press (the other being The Artistic Life), both featuring the further misadventures of SaFranko's literary alter-ego Max Zajack.
The last time we saw Zajack, chronologically, he was howling at the moon like a madman at the end of 2007 novel Lounge Lizard. Sometimes... picks up with Max some years later and we are introduced to a more reflective, ponderous character. No longer the hard drinking, womaniser that we came to know in previous publications, Max appears to in equal parts regret the poor life choices that have to led him to his current station, but also wish that he had gone more balls to the wall when he had the chance. Torn between what ifs and what could have beens, and learning to accept the way things are, and the way things have to be. You can't sprint forever, and Max knows this. Sometimes you have to just sit back and appreciate the smaller things in life, whether that be coconut gelato or a beautiful rainbow. Sometimes... isn't all regret and nostalgia, however, and Max still finds himself in some extremely awkward and highly amusing situations, the old Zajack shining through in defiance of himself.
SaFranko's prose is as crisp and succinct as ever, perhaps even more so. His ability to harness the human condition and get it down onto the page in such a manner is nothing short of remarkable. This type of confessional writing is not to everyone's taste, but in my opinion, there are few greater skills than to bare one's soul with such brutal and unabashed honesty whilst making it sound damned good in the process.
Grab a copy of the book directly from publisher Murder Slim Press or from Amazon (UK).
Oh look, a Mark SaFranko Zajack review that didn't once mention Bukowski. Get the fuck outta here!