Angela's Reviews > Anything Boys Can Do

Anything Boys Can Do by Angie Abdou
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's review
Sep 11, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: short-story-collections

I enjoyed these stories very much. I had read one or two last year as part of my twitter #shortstoriesforbreakfast month and had kept it in mind to return to. This year, I could no longer resist reading the entire collection. I had the chance to hear Angie Abdou read from her newest novel Between by Angie Abdou at my local library and not only did I pick up a copy of the new novel, but I also put reserves on Abdou's earlier novel The Canterbury Trail by Angie Abdou and this short story collection, her first I believe. Abdou briefly described Anything Boys Can Do by Angie Abdou and put the collection into context for us and so I was doubly intrigued.

The stories are unrelated but revolve around the concepts of infidelity, trust, attraction, betrayal, identity, fear, hurt, sex and marriage, in short: relationships. I loved the refusal to accept sexual stereotypes and the questioning of limits in relations between the sexes. The first story entitled "Flannel Nightmares" (a metaphor for the comfort and horror that is marriage) got my attention right away--the writing is so tight. The immense distance between the characters in the final scene made me actually nauseous. The wry "Five Ways to Make a Barren Woman Cry" is smart in a smirky way. And the woman whose name is not Louise in the story "East/West" is convincingly brash and "game" with a posse of rowdy frat-boy types until one of them is able to slip past her defences and hurt her quite deeply.

I've read a lot of short stories--collections by Canadian women are a special favourite of mine--and I will reread and recommend these.

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Reading Progress

September 11, 2014 – Started Reading
September 11, 2014 – Shelved
October 5, 2014 – Shelved as: short-story-collections
October 5, 2014 – Finished Reading

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