A Review of Jaded by Wilson Koewing
Think nothing of mind or spirit whilst reading Jaded. It is neither the time or place to do so. Instead, focus on the stark satiation that one feels between each of the four sections of this raw and minimalistic short story collection.
Each section: New Orleans, Out West, Denver, Down South
From these, one might accidentally wander into this collection expecting a Kerouacian aesthetic but it won’t be found within these pages. Each word is carefully crafted by Wilson Koewing with purpose and direction. The stories aren’t rushed, chaotic, or feel improvised in the slightest sense. He knows what direction he is taking you on and that’s the foundation of Jaded. The stories draw from pop culture, the internet, and of course his own experiences. Experiences that the vast majority of millennials can relate to. Social media addiction and burnout. Apathy to a certain point.
One of the standout stories, Rock Wall, shows this spirit with a kind of finesse that few writers could pull off. There is somehow verve felt in the detachment of this story. We follow a character’s thoughts as they follow a trail. Aimlessly he thinks about people he passes, what his friends think about, deep introspection into his own life, and then a sudden urge to move. He is lost and restless with some fleeting need to follow the flow that he is seeing around him. There is no reason for any of this but the fact remains, we all do it. This is what Wilson does best. One can dismiss so many authors of our generation as just simply writing autofiction but Jaded isn’t that. Jaded is a sociological study. It’s a never-ending question that Wilson asks with each story in all four sections. How do people and place relate? Can a person exist in any random setting and maintain an identity that uniquely belongs to them regardless of where they are?
Wilson explores these ideas in every way possible. Whether you find the answers to these questions in this collection is up to you…