Amancay's Reviews > Typical Girls: New Stories by Smart Women

Typical Girls by Susan Corrigan
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Apr 15, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: 1999, paperback
Read in January, 1999

** spoiler alert ** -November 2, 1999
Yuck! I don’t know if I’m going to be able to even make it through this book! I keep trying to convince myself that somewhere hidden between all the garbage, there’s got to be one or two salvageable stories. It is after all an anthology written be various authors. Since it’s really a bunch of small stories packed into one book, I’m gonna lay them out here one by one (or in bunches, as I read them) so if anyone out there were ever inclined to actually read the book after hearing my harsh comments above. They might know which ones to totally skip.

* first:
I’m seriously astonished that I didn’t just stop reading the entire book after this horrid tale of an unmerited sexual encounter. Aside from the fact that the story was disgusting, the writing itself sucked in my opinion. I admit I’m not a huge fan of the over use of adjectives. Adjectives were created to boost one’s imagination and understanding of a description. Not to create space and confuse the reader. There is absolutely no sense in the need to take four pages describing the trees (that was my chief complaint regarding My Side of the Mountain) or anything else so obvious for that matter. In fact, imaginations can be stifled by this descriptive process. Which in essence is the exact opposite of my purpose in reading (to exercise my imagination a bit!)
Getting back to the story. I keep wanting to say "gratuitous sex", but it’s not even that. It’s a gross encounter between two confusing characters. All in about five pages. Definitely skippable!
* second:
This is where I admittedly should have jumped off of my couch, thrown the book to the floor, and jumped up and down on it, casting out the devil and any other demons lingering inside it. That would have been fun, and invigorating (definitely better than the story I was reading). Instead I, again, convinced myself that these first few were just an exception to the great works I was about to come across as I kept reading (she must be saving the best for last!).
To put it bluntly, as this chapter did so often, the story is morbid. A horrific tale of a boy infatuated with a gun, who somehow ends up with a transvestite, and it just gets worse from there. To make an awful story short, they both end up dead. The author depicts this in gory, graphic detail that I could have lived without. I ask myself, how did you get from chicken soup to this crud!?
* third:
Moving right along, finally something seemingly normal. A guy who still can’t get over a girl he’d been with for five years. She writes a book, gives him no credit. Then (oh no, not again!) the story takes a downward spiral, a dive into black morbidity. My brain screams at me, ‘Stop the insanity!’

Stay tuned, to see how the rest of the book pans out, and if it’s ever going to be worth even a glimpse of praise. For now the outlook doesn’t seem too bright, but we’ll see.
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