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Insurrections by Rion Amilcar Scott
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it was amazing

Mostly all I can say right now is damn, this is a fine book. I remember Roxane Gay tweeting several years back something to the effect of "Wow, Rion Amilcar Scott can sure write a great short story." I quickly found out for myself that she was right. I've followed his account and his writing for quite some time, but hadn't encountered many of the stories in this collection. This book is full of gems. It's rare for a short story collection to not have at least 2 kind of weak stories compared to the rest, but I'm not sure that's the case. I think every story in this book ranges from good to very great. The standout stories, ones that should be anthologized and taught in classrooms, in the end were: "Everyone Lives in a Flood Zone," "A Friendly Game," "202 Checkmates," "Juba," "Confirmation," "Razor Bumps," and "Three Insurrections." But even the ones I didn't mention are well-worth reading, if not studying.

The thing about Rion's writing is he can do it all. His characters are real. Their stories are real. His ear for dialogue is uncanny. He can write poetic sentences, with the air of arresting effortlessness. He can tell a joke. He can stun you with violence on one turn and elevate you with grace on the next. He can rip your heart out. He can flat out tell a damn story, and the tools in his toolbox are formidable and plentiful.

It doesn't shock me at all that the same day I finish the book, it is shortlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for outstanding debut book of fiction. I feel like I gained twenty-five grand worth of knowledge and inspiration reading it.
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Reading Progress

June 3, 2016 – Shelved
June 3, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
January 4, 2017 – Started Reading
January 4, 2017 –
page 53
25.48% "Had this waiting on my shelf a little too long, picked it up earlier tonight. Three stories in, damn good stuff."
January 5, 2017 –
page 81
38.94% ""202 Checkmates" is nearly a perfect short story."
January 13, 2017 –
page 153
73.56%
January 18, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Columbus Wow, just got this today and can't wait to read it. Just finished Roxane Gay's "Difficult Women" too and enjoyed that a lot. Thanks for your review!


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