Short Story Review: “Rose’s, Woolrich” by Paul Ewen

2 of 5 stars.

Pubs hold a special place in society, whether celebrated or reviled. They can be either a microcosm of the city they service fielding a full cross-section of the community, or a filter separating the classes. A little alcohol lubrication and the mix of close quarters and ample people is a recipe for a chemical reaction–possibly explosive, at other times romantic.

This vignette shows the busy mid-Friday pubs of the Woolrich neighborhood in South London before focusing on the quietly ignored Rose’s with its half dozen staunch patrons. The narrator doesn’t seem to have a friend in the establish, nor even really knows how to uphold his end of the social contract. He’s arrogant and snide, and yet waxes poetic on the one non-human in the pub, the caged Australian frilled lizard.

Then, in a series of blatant metaphors, he compares the pub to the lizard cage and the patrons to lizards. As he extends the metaphor, he also explains it just in case anybody missed the analogy that’s in no way subtle.

This tale appears in the anthology An Unreliable Guide to London by Influx Press, London. I received my copy of this anthology directly from one of the contributing authors through
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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