Praise for The Tiki King . . .
“These 10 vigorous stories from Tintocalis mine the inner lives of Russian and Lebanese émigrés and crummy California divorceés alike…. Tintocalis’s debut is filled with strange characters who maintain puzzling appeal despite—and often because of—their quirks.”
“(Tintocalis) has a knack for finding the odd, authenticating detail. As a result, characters…aren’t just behind a page. They lean toward the reader. They seem personal and life-sized. One can neither sum them up nor predict them…. This collection will seal (Tintocalis) as one of the country’s emerging writers.”
ForeWord Reviews (Complete Review)
“In her debut story collection, The Tiki King, Stacey Tintocalis has crafted a book whose quirks beautifully dovetail with its deep, dark undertones. Tintocalis’s characters and neighborhoods, ostensibly shiny, are disguised by veneers that are beginning to peel and crack after years of stress and strain. With ten stories that run the gamut from the emotional musings of a man watching a female stranger iron his shirt (‘Iron’), to the existential plumbing of an abandoned woman adrift in lust for her husband’s brother (‘Geishas’), The Tiki King is as varied as it is pleasurable.”
The Rumpus (Complete Review)
"Modern culture is rife with opportunities for conflict. The Tiki King is a collection of short stories from Stacy Tintocalis as she provides an intriguing collection of fiction with many memorable characters facing situations that one often faces with high stakes consequences. The Tiki King is an excellent, fun, and quite riveting read of short fiction that will prove very difficult to put down.
Midwest Book Review
"A nurse gifted with the power to put people to sleep. A schoolteacher confronted by her missing husband's porn collection. A son forced to share his father's obsession with a childhood suburban home. Stacy Tintocalis finds the rabbit hole in our ordinary world, and down we go, following her headlong, as she deftly excavates layer after layer of human frailty and desire, to reveal the hidden inner worlds that are always lurking, always waiting to trip us up. I don't know what's more impressive; Tintocalis' ability to inhabit and empathize with so many points of view, or her deft style that manages always to walk the tightrope of what is humorous and sad. An impressive debut collection; I can't wait to see what hidden inner world Tintocalis will, like Lorrie Moore before her, magically mine for us next."
Marie Mutsuki Mockett -- author of Picking Bones From Ash
“Stacy Tintocalis is a magician and an artist: with one hand she sculpts the dangerous terrain of secret sorrow, while with the other she swiftly paints the strange healing power of hurt, the potent, heart-sparking heat of desire. Quietly devastating, delightfully surprising, the tales of The Tiki King are saturated with tender revelations and startling pleasures.”
Melanie Rae Thon — author of Sweet Hearts and First, Body _______________________________________________________________________________
"One of the facts of literary life that so frustrated the late novelist Stanley Elkin was the dearth of a species of narrative he adored: the “sad” funny story (The Dick Gibson Show) or the “funny” sad story (Stanley Elkin’s Magic Kingdom). First, you need feck-free protagonist, like the narrator of “Too Bad About Howie,” a hero too innocent to understand the conflict between the head and the heart: the one proposes, the other disposes. You need, too, a dramatic situation where the stakes are high: anything involving a boy and a girl will do nicely, thank you. And, if you can manage it, you need a style as peppy as it is poignant. Tone, of course, is the devil in all these details: season with rue, in other words. To my mind, “…Howie” satisfies perfectly: I am tickled as much as I am touched."
Lee K. Abbot -- judge of The Journal's Annual Fiction Contest
"This debut collection is a stunner. Stacy Tintocalis keeps us guessing as each of these stories unfolds. She reveals characters who are not always what they seem, and may not know themselves as well as the reader does by the end. Tintocalis handles her material with tough grace and has the ability to both shock and move us."
Rebecca Chace -- author of Leaving Rock Harbor: A Novel, Capture the Flag: A Novel, and Chautauqua Summer: Adventures of a Late 20th-Century Vaudvillian