Life Knocks


“Life Knocks” is a stream-of-consciousness story that tells of Colossus Sosloss’s attempts to live and work in London.  His landlord, Mohammad, pops in and out of the story continually coming to talk to Colossus at all hours of the day and night.  Colossus spends a good part of his life clubbing, drinking, and drugging, trying to grow up.  He enjoys a wonderful relationship with his girlfriend Lily, but his childish ways put the kibosh on even their relationship. Can Colossus figure out how to put his life back together and find a fulfillment that will last?

 Craig Stone writes in a circular fashion, interspersing the on-going story with thoughts in Colossus’s head. This autobiographical story tends to repeat itself, with numerous recitations of going out, riding the subway, drinking in pubs, doing drugs, and trying to make a relationship work with the lovely Lily.  Occasionally there are descriptions of relationships with other women, interactions with men friends, or other tenants in the building, with graphic sexual descriptions peppered throughout the book..  The dialogue with Mohammad is on-going, with Colossus replying politely in actual conversation to Mohammad’s ramblings, but ranting about Mohammed’s stupidity in his thoughts.
The author writes vividly, making the reader feel as though he or she is actually in the flat or the pub with Colossus.  There is very little character development, however, and it takes awhile before the reader understands who is playing what role in the story.  Characters also come in and out quickly, with little opportunity to understand who they are.   Finally, as the end of the book, Mr. Stone does ties up all the loose ends as Colossus’s life gets on a straight path.
Victoria Z. Burg