Terri's Reviews > A Gate at the Stairs

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
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Nov 08, 2009

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bookshelves: 21st-century-fiction
Read in January, 2010

What an interesting book... and yet, when finished with it I felt like I was left with all these pieces and I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. This was my first time reading Lorrie Moore, and overall I do like how she writes. Sometimes it's quirky, sometimes it's beautiful. Sometimes she goes off on minute tangents, just because the language seems to take her there. Not having read anything else by Moore (yet), I don't know if this is something she does regularly, or if it's specific to this book and therefore this particular narrator. It's something that could be annoying coming from a lesser writer. While it doesn't always work here, it doesn't really bother me, either.

Moore is known largely for her short stories, and at times while reading this I felt like sections were written as short stories and then pieced together. It jumps around a bit. In some ways, that makes sense. The narrator is in college, and life at school during the semester can be very separate from life at home on break. I didn't like some of the characters much--Sarah and Ed in particular (though you do sometimes feel a little sorry for Sarah), but I don't think I was supposed to.

Now and then Moore throws in something a bit crazy--a bit hard to believe. I guess it's to her credit that as much as I raised my eyebrows when reading these passages, I didn't give up on her or on the book. She gets away with it, if only barely sometimes.

This book was a gift from Amy. Amy, thank you so much for introducing me to Lorrie Moore. As you say, maybe this isn't the best possible introduction to her work, but it's pretty good and it has definitely made me want pick up her other books.
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01/08/2010 page 19
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