Farren's Reviews > Birds of America

Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
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May 25, 09


Lots of heart-tugging, gut-wrenching stuff, lots of original observations about humans and the planet on this sweet kind of micro-level. Lots of quotable stuff, plotted and paced masterfully.

And yet--

Maybe it's just because everyone LOOOOOOOOOVES Lorrie Moore, but I found it a little contrived? No one is that naive, and wide eyed and simultaneously tired and sad all the time. Ever. You know? It felt like a gimmick. Because it was deployed in every story--because it is, in fact, Lorrie Moore's identifiable style, the narrators began to mimic each other. And I found myself thinking, wait, is that from the story about the woman who went to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone? Or from the story about the woman who bought that ramshackle farm house? Different circumstances but ALWAYS THE SAME STORY.

So: meh.
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message 1: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Maybe it's just because everyone LOOOOOOOOOVES Lorrie Moore, but I found it a little contrived? No one is that naive, and wide eyed and simultaneously tired and sad all the time. Ever. You know? It felt like a gimmick.

yeah, that's kind of how i've always felt about her. tho i liked these stories better than who will run the frog hospital which i couldn't even finish.


message 2: by unnarrator (last edited May 26, 2009 08:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

unnarrator Oh snap. And heavy sigh of acquiescence. It's true, all the Lorrie Moore stories are the same. And these are (trust me) the best of the bunch, too; if you read Birds of America you get the gist. (Well, and there's a good cancer story in Self-Help.) And I recently read a new short story in the Guardian, and I thought it was AWFUL, it was that not-going-gently older woman who still insists on wearing coral lipstick and having really long "natural" hair.

Still some part of me is stubbornly refusing to revise my reviews and just ADMIT that she is often like a kind of more feminine annoying David Sedaris. I don't know why. Maybe because these books were incredibly important to me circa age 30 and marriage/job doldrums, "Is this all there is?" etc. And she does have those little tiny pearling linguistic observations which I love. Another heavy sigh.


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