Krok Zero's Reviews > Willful Creatures

Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender
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's review
Feb 26, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: winter-08-to-09
Read in February, 2009

I really want to like Aimee Bender...but based on this collection I think she's overhyped. For one thing, all the press about Bender as a fantasist or magical-realism practitioner is GROSSLY overstated. Most of the stories in here are straight-up realistic, and only a few are outright fantastical. Not that there's anything wrong with that—I'm just saying there's some false advertising going on.

The stories are all slightly on the quirky side but most of them are so wispy and minor-key that they don't really offer any compelling reason to exist or leave a lasting impression. That kind of fiction writing just isn't my cup of tea. Bender has a way of writing about love and relationships that's deadly earnest without being very perceptive; her characters are divorced from reality, not in an interesting fantasy way but an annoying I'm-so-clever way. Except she's not even all that clever.
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