Paul Bryant's Reviews > Birds of America

Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
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Nov 23, 2012

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Read in December, 2007

"The thing to remember about love affairs," says Simone, "is that they are all like having raccoons in your chimney."
"Oh, not the raccoon story," groans Cal.
"Yes! The raccoons!" cries Eugene.
I'm sawing at my duck.
"We have raccoons sometimes in our chimney," explains
"Hmmm," I say, not surprised.
"And once we tried to smoke them out. We lit a fire, know-
ing they were there, but we hoped that the smoke would cause
them to scurry out the top and never come back. Instead, they
caught on fire and came crashing down into our living room, all charred and in flames and running madly around until they
dropped dead."
Simone swallows some wine. "Love affairs are like that," she says. "They all are like that."


So anyway, the story "People Like that are the only people Here" is great, every word skewered onto the page, and half way through I thought This Is No Mere Story, which Wikipedia confirmed was correct, it was autobiographical. But - the very next story "Terrific Mother" was so awful I thought I had to retire this book for a long time & finish it later. 40 pages of mind numbing couldn't give a flying fcuk about these people. 40 pages about a couple at a retreat for academic writers and the lass goes for a massage regularly and they decide they love each other or they don't and I could care a whole lot more about that.

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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Monica (new) - added it

Monica Have you read Self Help?

Paul Bryant Nope, just Like life

message 3: by Monica (new) - added it

Monica I really enjoyed it...gave it five stars.. I read it back when it first came out.

Jessica Even if you totally hate this, perhaps you might spare my delicate feelings by toning down your usual snar-- er, disarming, intelligent, insightful candor.

Ruth I liked this one mucho, mucho, mucho.


message 6: by Monica (new) - added it

Monica Why did this review resurface? Did I miss something?

Ruth Jessica disinterred it. Ask her.


Jessica Wasn't me! I think Paul must have edited it.

Jessica This review just keeps coming back to life! I don't understand it!

Paul, do you happen to own a fanny pack?

message 10: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Bryant No, why do you ask?

message 11: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Bryant Oh I see.

message 12: by Judi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judi I am three stories in to this book and I am finding it just plain weird. I will try a few more stories and see.

Stephanie Sun No Paul Bryant love for the Terrific Mother marriage proposal? - "I'm going to marry you whether you like it or not. I'm going to marry you till you puke."

message 14: by Paul (new) - rated it 3 stars

Paul Bryant Lorrie Moore : the one that got away. You know that old Judy Garland song?

Stephanie Sun Yes, I saw that clip on TV one sad Christmas. That reminds me of her too.

I've been looking back through her books these past two weeks (why I came to the BofA page and your review), even the objectively kind of terrible ones, and I was surprised to find that (a) she has a message, and (b) it is an anti-conformity (and at the textual level anti-jargon) one.

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