I didn't love it the way I thought I would. A lot of the stories are similar, and are almost all in first person. Which is fine, but after a while, wiI didn't love it the way I thought I would. A lot of the stories are similar, and are almost all in first person. Which is fine, but after a while, with short stories, it begins to feel like there is only one character and it can get boring. It's difficult to establish who many of the story tellers are, and July introduces bits of information about them almost as an afterthought; as if she knows they all sound like the same person and she needs to fix it. When she suddenly has a character describe themselves towards the end of a story, it hinders her and is distracting.
Also, July has this way of reverting to the same dreamy, cheesy, "don’t worry, the world is big and welcoming and will open its arms to you. You are special" mentality that I found annoying in her movie. She could have at least found a more creative way of saying it without being so self indulgent and redundant. She tries so hard to make the people in the book relatable, but it's difficult. At times I could see myself sympathizing with certain qualities of a character or situation, but many times I just couldn't.
The stories in the beginning are not as meatier as the ones in the middle, or as interesting as the ones in the end. As the book progresses it's gets better and July reminds me of a toned down Mary Gaitskill (although with Gaitskill, even if she writes in first person, her characters are still distinct). A lot of these stories deal with love and longing, but also with the obsession and loneliness that may come along with it. She has a disturbing and yet oddly charming way of describing the more self destructive aspects of relationships and love. Towards the end, I found the stories more appealing, and I wished that she had focused more on creating fewer and stronger stories, weeding out the lesser ones. ...more
Really interesting, and easy to read (although a little too wordy at times). Also kind of fun. The book spans through the history of art, and even thoReally interesting, and easy to read (although a little too wordy at times). Also kind of fun. The book spans through the history of art, and even though the author highlights some of the major artists in each period and analyzes their art using different theories in visual psychology, he also does an in depth analysis of the viewer. I was especially interested in the sections about Klee and Durer. Kind of brings new insight to traditional ideas about looking at art. ...more
The stories in this collection are moving and at times quite touching. Reddi is especially adept at portraying the younger generations of her South AsThe stories in this collection are moving and at times quite touching. Reddi is especially adept at portraying the younger generations of her South Asian families.
However, while each story is in some way connected to another--through characters, places, etc--the book never moves beyond a surface depth of emotion and struggle. Each tale is straightforward and sincere, but the simplicity of construction and ideas leaves the reader bored at times. One wishes that there were more substance between the lines, especially since some stories seem to invite more depth. Unfortunately, Reddi never drifts far from the basic model telling of a story without interpreting it in some way. ...more