Reviews for Inexplicably Irrational:
"As Carol Anne Perini explains in her introduction, Inexplicably Irrational is about people
who do what they do because they don't know what else to do. People think they're making
the best choices or they're so fed up with their other choices, they have to make this one,
particular choice, as awful as it is. Have you done that? Been there? Oh, yes!
The stories are often about the end of the invisible distances that separate people. They
remind me of the metal sculpture from Burning Man: two adult figures are sitting dejected,
facing away from one another, while inside them we can see the tiny children they really are,
poking around, lost, wanting a connection.
One example of this theme is the flash fiction piece Nothing in which Arnie comes home,
wondering what's for dinner. Nothing is the unspoken answer but he finds his wife neck deep
in a cold bathtub, unable to feel the water, the callouses on his fingers too thick.
Another example of this theme of people doing what they do because they don't know what else to do is in the story Mean To. Gloria is standing over her husband, horrified at the absolute finality of her choice.
There are stories with lines so beautifully evocative in themselves that they could be standalone stories. Such is the case with the first sentence of Relief. She writes, "Jonesey and Maurice had been lovers for a long time. Their lovemaking was so intense and satisfying for the two of them they thought they should be in a movie." OK, I cheated. It's two sentences. But wow. I was immediately casting the movie.
Three of the most moving stories are about fathers and their adult children. In Seaquence, Jim, a former Tomcat pilot is hoping his daughter will understand his choice to join his seagull in the Pacific. In Pops, a son meets his father on a park bench as the rain falls in an unexpected deluge.
Worth the Trouble's first person character does a cruelly evocative description of her father Charlie's girlfriend Winnie.
I highly recommend this volume. Perhaps it should be read at one sitting. It can be. But it would be better savored one at a time on one's nightstand. It would send you off to sleep thinking "Now what should that character have done? Did she have a choice? Didn't she? Is that a sheep I see coming?"
John Stacy, Long Beach Fiction Writers
“I would love to have known Jim and his daughter Christy in Seaquence, one of the many well crafted stories in Carol Anne Perini’s first collection, Inexplicably Irrational. What a caring relationship. I love the way he related to the sea and the waves and the gulls. “We are all lemmings, us seabirds,” Jim says.
Most interesting to me was that in spite of his esteemed military service, he was not a super patriot. Not interested in the politics of war. After his military service he served on boards of non-profits, doing humanitarian work. Yet he wanted a full military burial at Arlington West.
This is another of the keen observations of Carol Anne in Inexplicably Irrational. Why people do what they do seems to not always be clear. But I enjoyed this story very much.”
Nancy Mary, Long Beach Fiction Writers