Jocelyn's Reviews > Bobcat and Other Stories

Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca    Lee
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Jul 10, 12

bookshelves: short-stories-novellas, first-reads
Read on July 10, 2012, read count: 1

I read an ARC given away through Goodreads First Reads.

First off, the prose in Bobcat and Other Stories is wonderful, albeit a little pedantic, and that makes sense because Lee is a Creative Writing professor. The dialogue between characters is genuine, natural and realistic; the descriptions, lovely and economical. The only problem here comes from the tone. All written in the first-person narrative, it's easy to blend each narrator into the next, even though none of the characters overlap. The tone makes all the narrators the same and it took me a while before I realised the gender switch in "Fialta"; without obvious things like name changes, it would be hard to distinguish narrators. What this says to me is that Lee has one style and tone and sticks to them. This doesn't work for short stories when different characters are expected to and do narrate--not everyone has the same tone, so Lee's inability or unwillingness to change it indicates to me that short stories are not her forté.

But the main reason I've given this book 3 stars is not because of the prose, it's because of the stories. While the stories are easily connectable through themes (love) or shared qualities (college/intellectuals), none of the stories are that remarkable. (Arguably, "Bobcat" and "Fialta" are the best of them.) The characters could be interesting, but most of them are just not, and I think the problem stems from them not being fully fleshed out. I'm not expecting extensive character biographies for a thirty page story, but I do expect more than a total of one paragraph for all the supporting characters.

In the end, a couple stories are memorable, the others are not. For a short story collection, I would like for most of them to be.
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Reading Progress

07/10/2012 page 3
1.0% "Okay, I'm officially starting this now."

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