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The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín
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's review
Feb 08, 11

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bookshelves: mar-apr-2011

There are many gems in ToibIn's latest collection, but many critics thought the collection, as a whole, uneven. They described some of the lesser-quality tales as cold and humorless, with undeniable "soggy moments" (Guardian). Explicit sex scenes proved off-putting to others. But most reviewers adored "The Street," the Pakistani romance set in Spain, and described it as "comic, outlandish, and oddly moving: crass and innocent at the same time" (Boston Globe). Overall, while critics generally praised The Empty Family, even they acknowledged that the author's slower pace and relatively scant humor aren't for everyone. This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

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