Dori Ostermiller's Reviews > A Gate at the Stairs

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
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's review
Apr 01, 2011

liked it

I am a huge Lorrie Moore fan and gobble up everything she publishes, so I picked up this book with great anticipation. Moore is one of the most witty, entertaining and insightful prose stylists we have in contemporary fiction. She is also sharply observant of cultural insanities and inconsistencies. I loved the beginning of this novel! But about 2/3 of the way through, when the plot went haywire, I felt puzzled and disappointed. It felt like Moore didn't know how to shape this story and so started to throw in bizarre plot twists of the melodramatic variety (not her usual style!), literally one after another... When the story tried to come to a climax with the tragic death of a minor, completely undeveloped character who we had barely seen up to that point, I stopped caring and began to skim the book just to be done. Birds of America and Frog Hospital were masterpieces: I'm really surprised by this novel's lack of a meaningful, cohesive structure and truly puzzled by the critical accolades it received, from the Times and others... Sadly, it makes me cynical about the industry...
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05/24/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Belinda Amen to that.

Ryan Hardin I'm in total agreement, with the anticipation, highs an lows of this review.

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