Erdrich "Fleur": I think this is the third story by Erdrich I've read and I've liked them all, although I thought this one wasn't quite as good as theErdrich "Fleur": I think this is the third story by Erdrich I've read and I've liked them all, although I thought this one wasn't quite as good as the story in the 2002 volume of this series.
Johnson "The Children's Wing": A nice enough story and decently written. I didn't really like the last few lines of the story.
Boswell "The Darkness of Love": Interesting story. Well written. One interesting point though was that the story was about a black family, and the main character is a black cop. Something I can't really put my finger on made me question whether the author was black or white. (He's white. So am I for the record.) I liked the story and would definitely like to read more by this author, but I wonder if that feeling I had doesn't say something about some point of feel. It's interesting to me to wonder whether a white author could get away with writing about black characters in the current intellectual and political climate or whether they would be rejected out of hand as not having the necessary experience for it or even worse accused of somehow trying to "appropriate" or "colonize" black culture or lives. Those aren't arguments I would make, but it's something to think about the changing climate around these issues.
Adams "Tide Pools": I liked this story. It was simple but presented what I thought was an interesting situation. It has a kind of happy ending. It will never be a contestant in any heavy weight competition but it was a nice read and the writing was fine. On the other hand, I don't really see myself seeking out any more of this author's work.
Dybek "Blight": I liked this story. The characters are pretty much the whole thing. The city itself does play a part. I felt the ending was a little limp, due probably to the fact that there's no plot really. I'm would definitely consider reading more of this author's work, particularly because I lived in Chicago for a short while and am interested in the city.
Lott "The Janeites": I really thought this story was horrible dreck. The emotional content was cheap and poorly done. And the "intellectual content" of the story was ridiculous. Basically this dude gets to feel superior because some evil academic defends a nasty character in a Jane Austen novel for all the wrong reasons. My God what is the world coming to! There was also a stereotyped and questionable scene with black boys and a boom box on the bus. Tellingly, I have looked up a number of the authors in this book on the internet and I can find no traces of Mr. James Lott, though admittedly I didn't search very hard.
Barthelme "Basil from Her Garden": I saw the name Barthelme on the table of contents. It rang a bell but I didn't know anything about him so I looked him up and found a website that has several of his stories on it. Usually this kind of thing is not really my taste, I usually prefer realistic stories. (That being said I do like Borges.) Whether because I've gotten more open minded lately, or whether there was just some connection I did like some of the Barthelme stories I read. On the other hand,I didn't like this one in the collection that much. It didn't have the zap that some of the shorter ones of his did. I definitely see myself trying to get a hold of some more of this guy.
Parts of this reminded me of "Goodfellas". In goodfellas particularly right near the climax of the movie Henry is running around doing increasing amouParts of this reminded me of "Goodfellas". In goodfellas particularly right near the climax of the movie Henry is running around doing increasing amounts of coke and dealing with everything from cooking a nice dinner to getting a lucky hat to having sex with his mistress. Similarly here, with booze instead of coke, this man's world is falling apart and ghosts are appearing but just in the thick of it he will jump back to plotting about how to arrange a threesome with his wife and mistress.
Lot's of things to enjoy here. Another reviewer mentioned how the people around him suspect his visions are the result of dt's but the lucidity of the voice never leaves you in any doubt as to the reality of what he's experiencing even amid the total chaos. I quite enjoyed the humor and the story. The voice of the narrator is also a real pleasure....more
Not sure what to say about it. It is an interesting book in that it is very different from most of what I read and it was reasonably entertaining. I kNot sure what to say about it. It is an interesting book in that it is very different from most of what I read and it was reasonably entertaining. I know it has some literary historical significance which was one of the reasons I read it. So on the whole it was worth my while I felt. On the other hand it is not something that effected me much....more