Written over two years, The Invincible Summer is Andrew’s first foray into fiction. His stories explore the intricacies of human interactions, and ask what it means to really be connected. While each story is unique in its own way, a common narrative links them together as larger themes of fate are explored with a writing style that is fresh, unique and empathetic. The Invincible Summer shows the beginnings of a burgeoning literary voice for many years to come.
Excerpt from “When it came to Lidia…” from The Invincible Summer.
“It was raining when Lidia knocked on my door. In my half slumber it awoke me, the deep thud, thud, thud. As I found a lucid state of mind, my body instinctively knew it was she, the dull round pain in my gut that was now synonymous. Thud…thud….thud. The sound of her flat, fleshy palm with a pause between each thud opposed to the sharp, quick tap of a knuckle.
My stomach told me to stay still in the protection of my bed, but I knew I couldn’t, I lacked logic when it came to Lidia. Thud……thud..….thud. The hallway seemed chilled this time as I cursed myself for heading towards the door, my skin goose pimpled under my pajamas. Thud…….thud..… She stood there shivering, dressed in next to nothing, her hair stuck to her face soaked in rain or tears and she took one long drag of her cigarette, using the remainder of her strength to stop her hand from shivering. The yellow butt travelled to her pale blue lips. She looked like a girl who used to be my girlfriend.”
Praise for The Invincible Summer
“Andrew Natale’s short fiction writing stands out through freshness, empathy and an ever present interest in the intricacies of human interactions. While all stories are interesting in their own way, Just Louise stands out through the writer’s determination to explore its sense of fate by rounding up the collection with a response story. However, each story is indicative of the author’s willingness to try his hand at different genres and styles, making this collection diverse, interesting, and a good read that I would happily recommend to any avid reader of short fiction. Enjoy the journey!”
Dr Ioana Petrescu, University of South Australia
The Invincible Summer – A review written by Sarah Clark
September 5th 2011
Some might say I’m a hopeless romantic, and it has to be said, it’s true. It could be the sight of a perfectly opaque cloud changing shape as it makes it’s way slowly across an azure sky, seeing a perfectly cheesy fingernail moon hanging low on a starry night, or laying on the floor listening to that new song you’ve discovered just a little too loud which makes me swoon – and in the context of this review – it’s clear one Andrew J. Natale suffers from the same condition.
The invincible Summer is most certainly a collection of romantic short stories in the traditional sense (boy sees girl, boy paints girl, girl knows not of boy’s existence but still he paints her week after week … ) but they are much more than that. Metaphorical, compassionate, intriguing and often sentimental, with common themes of loss as well as love, these stories all have somewhere to go and often leave the reader just a little heartbroken but always wanting to know more.
Littered with lovely analogies, as well as the brand of mundane yet highly illustrative details that make great writers stand out from the simply good, picturing Lidia lying comatose on Jay’s couch, “her hair stuck to her face soaked in rain or tears” isn’t hard. Nor is it difficult to put yourself in the shoes of The Man Who Can’t be Moved, Natale’s homeless character, who does not want to “talk to any shoppers or stare at them mysteriously” as he appears in a sleepy and intriguingly elegant manner from behind the “undone and broken zipper” of his sleeping bag home.
In The Watching Clouds Natale has given personality and feelings to clouds, much like J.R.R. Tolkien’s tree-beings the Ents, these clouds are deep-thinking surveyors of the world below. They manipulate the sun, wind and rain to help good things happen to good people – and I believe him.
Whilst each story in this collection is it’s own there are subtle common elements which neatly link one to another. The Man Who Can’t be Moved and The Watching Clouds appear in more than one story, with leading roles in some and small mentions in others. These are characters are clearly close to the author’s heart and have been with him for some time. The first and last stories, Just Louise and Just Maybe, are elegantly placed and wrap up the collection in a neatly written bow.
Natale claims his published sentences, phrases and passages “whimper in the corner too tired to wrestle with me anymore.” I agree he’s winning the battle, and personally I’m looking forward to round two, I want to hear more.
To purchase The Invincible Summer on ebook search “Andrew Natale” on iBooks or contact the author below for a hard copy.