This book contains thirty short stories. I think I was probably not the best Goodreads member to win this book. While I was reading I thought that perhaps some men might enjoy this more as well as those whose taste runs to the avant-garde. I found myself getting depressed or repulsed at times, but was emotionally involved during certain stories.
One thing that drove me nuts (that has nothing to do with the stories themselves) was that throughout the entire book, both sides of the page had the book’s title, which is the title of the last story in the book; one side of the page I’d have liked to have seen the title of the current short story.
These stories are extremely dark and are about people living on the edge and often with despair. They’re drug addicts, alcoholics, prisoners, assassins etc. There’s a plethora of violence and kinky sex. Many are told first person and all are told from one character’s point of view. These characters are widely disparate. There are men and women and children, multi-racial and multi-cultural, etc. Somehow, the author pulls this off with a few exceptions.
I like to read dark books about people in difficult circumstances but with very few exceptions (often the children) I didn’t feel familiar with these characters, and there were a few I didn’t even slightly understand which is unusual for me.
I enjoyed the first three stories, the last four stories, and one or a couple in the middle. The other stories I either thought were just ok or thought that at least in part they were kind of a mess, but I’m the first to admit that my discomfort with some of the subject matter could have influenced my opinion. I wanted to win this book because of the title story: The President’s Parasite. As with many of the other stories I liked and disliked parts although I did think the premise of the story being told from the point of view of a parasite occupying a human was inspired, and interesting.
Readers who do not enjoy literature that contains sex and violence will not enjoy these stories. Those who like avant-garde and unusual literature will want to check out this book.