On Tobias Carroll’s ‘Transitory’

Leland Cheuk
Jul 21, 2017 · 4 min read

Uncanny and whimsical, Carroll is cultivating an aesthetic all his own with his debut story collection.

He said, “I think maybe I fell in love with you there and realized that it was a lost cause all at the same time.”

Still, his hand was shaking. The beer moved to his lips; he took a long drink. New lines in his forehead were born.

Anything she said right now, she knew, would feel false, both to herself and to him. But there was no way to convey this except with words.

The glass-walled chain bar got a second look as he went; still deserted, save the bartender. He wondered what might transpire if he walked in. Whole futures passed in that moment, infinite and minute Marco Hodges ebbing away. He could have struck up a friendship or a romance with the bartender; they could have become mortal enemies or secret allies. Possible friends and possible children and possible homes ceased in a blink of an eye.

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.