Don't let the gauzy image on the cover or the dreamy title fool you: the stories in Meet Me in the Middle of the Air contain moments that made this seDon't let the gauzy image on the cover or the dreamy title fool you: the stories in Meet Me in the Middle of the Air contain moments that made this seasoned horror reader squirm. The collection also takes some clever, whimsical turns. Sometimes these things happen in the same sentence. If I don't get to writing a longer review of this book, I want to say two things here:
1) I'm thrilled to find yet another amazing author to add to my library of the literary weird. 2) "The Sparrow Mumbler" really sticks with you.
Okay, three things:
3) Going on my best of 2016 list right now....more
I'm not sure Amy Alkon and I would agree on much if we were having a political conversation, but she's fierce and right on the mark in this funny andI'm not sure Amy Alkon and I would agree on much if we were having a political conversation, but she's fierce and right on the mark in this funny and informative book. As the title implies, she attacks America's growing solipsism and declining courtesy. Helpfully, she does it via hilarious tales that teach you how to use your brain and some basic research skills to take back your personal space, wasted time and lost money.
Cell phone oversharers? She's got that, recounting the incident and sharing all the information she gleaned on her very public blog. Steal her car? She'll find you before the cops do. Bad customer service or annoying "phone surveys"? The company CEO better look out -- nothing criminal, of course, but this woman is prepared track you down and call you at home, at midnight . . . AND bill you for her lost time. Mess with her money or her identity? Ouch. Treat her as if she doesn't matter? She's not afraid to name names; some very public entities get skewered, hard. Her awesome personal vendetta against B of A is an act of heroism.
Alkon regales us in a style that reads exactly like what it is -- a smart, funny, nasty advice column. She's brash, breezy, and appealingly mean, but her prose isn't the highlight. Nope, you'll want to read this book because Alkon's own experiences give readers a toolkit for reclaiming what they've lost, even if it's just a temper. Hidden in her snark is how-to manual for everything from teaching boors a public lesson to reclaiming your stolen identity; I See Rude People is packed with detailed advice and perfectly legal methods of getting yours back. Some just illustrate sweet petty justice on annoying douchebags (which I roundly applaud, but lack the energy for -- maybe when I retire); others could be of real assistance in more serious situations.
Here's one great example: I didn't know you could freeze your own credit score if you suspect your identity has been compromised. Not only will it save damage to your credit rating, but when the thief tries to apply for a credit card in your name, the merchant or bank will be alerted by the frozen score. Overnight, your identity is of much less use to anyone but you. Unfreeze it when you've sorted out the problem. It's practical knowledge like this that makes a 3.5 star book get rounded up to four....more
I hope I can forget this story next time I want some lemondrops. I used to like sour candy. Squicky cosmic horror with a deliciously uncomfortable twiI hope I can forget this story next time I want some lemondrops. I used to like sour candy. Squicky cosmic horror with a deliciously uncomfortable twist. Yummy. ...more