Johnpatrick's Reviews > McSweeney's #39

McSweeney's #39 by Dave Eggers
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Jan 11, 12

bookshelves: short-stories, mcsweeney-s
Read from January 09 to 11, 2012

I've been reading the flagship quarterly from McSweeney's religiously for nine years. Given everything I have missed, it's amazing to me that I haven't missed a single issue in nearly a decade, that I continue to pack and unpack them for the purpose of accompanying me in a string of apartments. Issue 39 is a reminder of why I attach such fetishistic value to these books.

This issue is divided fairly evenly between fiction and non-fiction, the non-fiction representing a smattering of speeches, essays and investigative journalism. I've been craving just this, so I found it very satisfying. The short stories are especially good, particularly the opening and closing stories of the volume. The former made me want to rush out and buy one dozen Marimekko dresses while the latter is a prime example of the magical realism McSweeney's does better than anyone. A special shout-out to Abi Maxwell. I'm amazed that "Giant of the Sea," is only her second published piece. I look forward to reading the rest of her story cycle.

The book features the first photographic cover in the series as far back as I can remember, and it's a beautiful vivid endeavor. The cover design is echoed somewhat awkwardly in the interior, but I find it successful overall. The cover jumps out of your hands, and the back features the words of Vaclav Havel, a political philosopher that I love despite having almost nothing in common with the former Czech president.

This is McSweeney's at its best and truest to form. I recommend this as a jumping-on point for folks that have yet to latch on to this excellent fiction anthology quarterly.
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