Talking To A Praying Mantis

Talking To A Praying Mantis tells the story of Dennis, a man who has a deep dependency on alcohol, who initially uses it both as a crux and something that provides him success initially, but eventually begins to wear at his life, resulting in bottoming out.

It is undeniable that there is a deep humanity to this story, and Crowley has injected it with some specificity that is both relatable and interesting. However, the story does have a “surface level” maturity to it, in the sense that it feels as though there is insufficient new ground covered, and alcoholism is referenced somewhat as a plot device, lacking a fresh examination towards the true nature of alcoholism itself, unique to Dennis.

A lot of the story is spent focusing on his career in real estate, and although this does tie to the overall progression of his alcoholism, it feels like it runs a bit too long or specific, distracting us from the underlying humanity we are desperately trying to examine.

Finally, the overall wording of the story feels like it could use some more panache; sentences are short, literal statements for the most part, and it feels as though it is missing a unique voice – Crowley feels as though he is simply “telling” a story in as literal a manner possible, without a unique style or poetry to the presentation.

A story that makes great demands of its author – the undeniable humanity could benefit from a deeper and more careful presentation.

Talking To A Praying Mantis | Rating: 3 Stars | Genre: Drama / Literary Fiction | Tags: Alcohol, hallucination, recovery | Author: Francis T. Crowley | Publisher: Amazon Kindle | Pages: 151 | Purchase
Author: Francis T. Crowley
Throughout his lifetime, Crowley nurtured ambitions of achieving publication as an author. Amidst the pandemic, he diligently transcribed his musings into tangible form on his computer, resulting in the creation of "Talking To A Praying Mantis," a fictional narrative borne from a dream. Although possessing familiarity with alcohol, it was only characterized as an issue by one of his spouses.

Undeterred by adversities, Crowley remains resolute in the pursuit of his aspirations, presently engrossed in the development of a novel that delves into the implications of a parallel universe on familial dynamics. Now in retirement, he indulges in recreational pursuits while also allocating significant time towards the completion of his forthcoming full-length literary endeavor.