So, finished reading this collection of stories by Miranda July today. And because the friend who recommended it to me has excellent, flaw free taste...more So, finished reading this collection of stories by Miranda July today. And because the friend who recommended it to me has excellent, flaw free taste in everything. I, of course, liked it a lot.
What I liked most, I think, was that it was kind of bitter and a little bit bitchy underneath everything, while still managing to have sympathetic characters. It was funny as well, with a hint of sarcasm hovering around the edges of certain phrases.
Or maybe what I liked most was that it put its quirkiness on display, but did not annoy or beat me with it. “Look at me, look at me. I’m quirky,” has never convinced me of anything except that the writer is a tool. And possibly also bad at writing. Both at the same time if the writer is an exceptional example who should be applauded for having both of those skills at once. I mean, it must be something, right? To be that person?
Or possibly, it was how weird and bizarre July managed to make life seem. She took Chuckie P.’s game and made it palatable. Dressed up her trash real nice, made the vulgarities and the plain awkwardness stand out, rather than choosing to pummel you with it all until, you know, really… maybe death by underwater autoerotic asphyxiation would be preferable to reading anymore. Or something. Her oddness felt real, rather than affected or present merely to score points in the name of edginess. I heartily approve.
Whatever. Anyway, point is. Good collection of short stories. And even better, they just got stronger and stronger, seemingly building on each other, to the point where I think the last one is my favorite, which almost never happens in short story collections. So that was fun and nice.
This book is fantastic, one of the best I've read. It's just so wonderful in every way, beautiful language, lovely dialogue, a great story.
But Toni Mo...moreThis book is fantastic, one of the best I've read. It's just so wonderful in every way, beautiful language, lovely dialogue, a great story.
But Toni Morrison is always flawless. Beloved is tragic and amazing, too, but I think I prefer Song of Solomon.
The way it melds genres is incredible, the thing I'm most impressed with, I think, because it's a family drama and a story about a boy growing up and learning to be an unselfish person, but it's also a ghost story and a thriller and a mystery all seamlessly integrated into one novel. Superb.
And even better, the side characters are all so perfectly sketched out and fascinating. They all had stories just outside of the frame of the story Morrison was telling, and those stories were equally as interesting as the main story, and I love when that happens in novels. Managing that while still giving readers a main character who is compelling is lovely. Often I have a problem in which I'll dislike the main character or characters, just find them horrendously boring, because the side characters are so much better, but that was not the case here.
All in all, another great book. I've been having an epic run of good luck with regard to my reading choices of late. (less)