Not just a four letter word.

Review of ‘What If I got down on my knees?’ by Tony Rauch

Reviewd by Sreemanti Sengupta, Odditor

Rauch has got the feel right in this book. I mean, forget your stars and your nut-cracking statistics and just think of slow dancing to Beethoven on a rainy evening, your bathroom door hanging open, your taps running, your hair distastefully misarraged, a coffee growing perfectly cold, you get the drift.


Or maybe you really don’t and just nod your head super-seriously so as not to look like a loser in a crowd of dorks.


What if I got down on my knees is about not really getting it. It’s more about the silences, the waits, the pauses and the awkward nesses, the white noises of life. Or love, if that’s more like your cuppa. The pervading vagueness about the pieces is beautifully, even lyrically disturbing, and unexpected, which is important.


This is a collection of perfect dystopias, achingly so – pregnant men, self-injected sorrow, lost loves, secrets, feelings that aren’t too sure of themselves. Going past the most obvious ironic pieces, I appreciate Rauch’s efforts with the greys and the subtleties. Some of them feature ambience craftsmanship that reminds me of powerful horror novels where the unsaid is always so much more important than the said.


I have exalted in atmospheres and colours strewn across this delightful book – whether it is the sun shining off a girl’s hair, patchwork on a quilt, the looming darkness near cliffs, the sounds of horse carriages…this is a book where you’re not finished with anything, nor are you meant to. If you happen to read it at one go, you might enter a indistinguishable sameness of variety which is at once empathetic, sympathetic and yet cosmetic.


It’s a misadventure to be recommended.


Tony Rauch is an architectural and urban designer, and an all around great guy filled with nothing but good things. Good things. He has been interviewed by the Prague Post, the Oxford Univ student paper in England, Rain Taxi, and has been reviewed by the MIT paper, Georgetown University paper, and the Savanna College of Art and Design paper, among many other publications

Rauch has four books of short stories published.

For more info and story samples, refer to his website:



Artworks used for homepage graphics include:


"It is My English Not Me" and "Where" by Marton Koppany

Oil Paintings by Bassam Al Hajali