Tony's Reviews > To Skin a Cat

To Skin a Cat by Thomas McGuane
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's review
Oct 08, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-short-stories
Read in October, 2010

McGuane, Thomas. TO SKIN A CAT. (1986). ****. This was McGuane’s first collection of short stories, culled from a variety of publications. There are thirteen of them, and, aside from the title story, they are generally only a few pages long. McGuane is a slick writer, and the stories demonstrate his slickness. They don’t fall into any specific category, but cover the gamut of subjects from everyday people to those with some obvious social problems. They are set in either Montana or Ohio, or in some nameless unidentifiable place. Place doesn’t seem to be very important to him. What does seem important is the individual quirks of his sketched characters. A usual ploy of his is to work backwards in his stories. He apparently comes up with a catchey ending – whether a situation or an expression, and then works to develop his story around it. As in most short stories, there is little if any character development. His people just appear full blown on the page and get on with their little performance. As I said, he is slick and these stories are fun to read. Recommended.

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