I Am an Executioner: Love Stories – Rajesh Parameswaran
Final Thoughts: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you so much to Capsule Books for sending this to me in their Romance Capsule!
Rajesh Parameswaran’s collection of short stories is eccentric, imaginative, edgy, and not the kind of “love stories” that the front cover promises. The stories range in their content from talking tigers to secret unnamed agents to self-fulfilling, prophetic widows, all with a singular tone of graceful morbidity. The darkness in Parameswaran’s stories is the lesson, the redeeming moral amidst highly inventive fiction.
My favorite story is the very first one presented in the book: “The Infamous Bengal Ming.” A tiger is devotedly in love with his zookeeper, but when he tries to express his heart’s desires, his strength overtakes him, and he ends up mauling the zookeeper, along with several others along the way.
In the titular story, an executioner tries desperately to share his life with his wife, who disgusts the idea of his profession. Told in broken, jumbled English, the voice of the executioner is genuine.
The strength in all of the stories is their distinctness from one another, and the strength of their characters. The voices in Parameswaran’s works command their own stories. It’s as if the author was simply there to write it all down.
Parameswaran’s fiction is postmodern and gritty and full of wonderful depth. Even when he experiments with syntax and structure, his stories remain shining little gems of narrative fiction.