Ronald Kelland's Reviews > Daddy Lenin and Other Stories
Daddy Lenin and Other Stories
Ronald Kelland's review
Feb 19, 2018
As usual, another great book by Guy Vanderhaeghe, this one a collection of short stories. These stories all seem to be about men at crucial moments in their life; teenagers coming of age, such as in "The Jimi Hendrix Experience", "1957 Chevy Bel Air", "Koeing &Company" and "Where the Bots Were" and older men facing the end of disappointing careers, as in "Tick Tock", "Live Large", "Daddy Lenin" "Anything" and "Counsellor Sally Brings Me to the Tunnel". In all of the stories the protagonists are facing a crisis or a defeat or some kind of crushing disappointment - business failures, failing marriages, deaths of loved ones. Some also face new worlds and opportunities, often women, sex and their own launch into adulthood. Some meet success, of dome sort, others end up staring into the abyss of their own wasted lives. The collection is an emotional look at young and old masculinity and how it can both bring an individual man's success or bring about his own defeat. It is a very well written book, the only reason I docked it a star is that some of the stories ("Tick Tock") reminded me a bit too much of one of the author's earlier books, "Man Descending" and I would have preferred a bit more of a difference. Maybe gets petty of me, as it echoes the strengths of that earlier book, but that is how it is. Still, a fantastic collection of short stories by one of my favourite authors (I'll even forgive the shot he takes at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructors).
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