Book review of 20 Greatest Hits: Poems 1997-2004 by Terry McCarty

20 Greatest Hits: Poems 1997-2004

Terry McCarty
Publish Green
December 30, 2011
58 pages/$2.99 (eBook)

“Reprimanded,” the third poem in 20 Greatest Hits: Poems 1997-2004 by Terry McCarty is one of the strongest and, for me, the most relatable pieces in this fine collection. The poem, which I read in the Amazon “Look Inside” sample, was the reason I bought the book.

In this piece, the speaker expresses perfectly (and ironically) the “paralysis” of expression in the workplace, since so many of us “literally can’t afford to respond” to the criticisms, constructive or otherwise, of our superiors. I’ve been this guy in the work place. I’ve worked with so many guys like him, and McCarty nails this guy’s voice again and again throughout the book in the other work-related poems – a job interview, a company rally, an office birthday party and corporate downsizing.

McCarty’s voice shines again in “Poetry Clique,” a scathing report on the state of local poetry/politics, and in “Engagement Day,” an ominous indictment of our apparent commitment to consumerism during what should really be the beginning of our commitment to marriage.

And if this book opens strongly, it closes even stronger with my favorite poem of the collection….

Read this review at LA Books Examiner

Frank Mundo is the author of The Brubury Tales (foreword by Carolyn See) and Gary, the Four-Eyed Fairy and Other Stories. His latest book is an illustrated novella for adults called Different. Don’t forget to subscribe to his emails and follow him on Twitter @Frankemundo or @LABooksExaminer for the latest updates.


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