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In a style reminiscent of Raymond Carver, the stories contained in Animal depict people on the brink of major life change. They stand at crossroads they are often oblivious to; they suck thick air in rooms filled with palpable tension. Leggat’s characters often seem captured in a cinematic slo-mo, teetering on the edge of something unknown, heroically resisting the ever-pr ...more
Paperback, 169 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Anvil Press
(first published January 1st 2009)
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I think Alexandra Leggat’s Animal is about more than abortions and puppies. In fact, I know it’s also about uneven expectations in relationships, compromises, and the lies that appearances belie, but when I think of my overall impression what comes to mind are abortions and dogs. I don’t even think the short story collection has a single story with an abortion in it (miscarriages, yes) but somehow many of them contain the same kind of sadness: aborted love, aborted futures, aborted choices. As f ...more
These stories were not memorable, but I enjoyed reading them. Exceptions to the not memorable rule are Tourniquet, Blue Parrot, Fuselage and Sweet Tea. This is a collection that people who like short stories will like, but I imagine the novel-lovers will find somewhat disjointed and atonal. Still, there’s a subtle quality, maybe something honest and genuine, sometimes ugly, but not gratuitous, that makes me think that I would pick up another one of her collections if I came across it in a bookst ...more
This is a collection of oh-so-serious short stories with its heart on its sleeve. Loneliness, sorrow, regret, disappointment -- they're all here in abundance and proliferating like a field of dandelion gone to seed. It was too much for me. Way, way too much for me. I keep my emotions in a clay pot by the window and I pinch off the dead blossoms before they can seed:)