Sharon's Reviews > The Great Frustration

The Great Frustration by Seth Fried
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's review
Oct 13, 2011

bookshelves: did-not-finish
Read in October, 2011

Too clever by half. The first two stories are both told in the first person plural, which is a bit much. It's all very allegorical, but with an ironic veneer that makes it seem very heavy handed.

The second story, "Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre" started out so funny that it's what drew me to the book. Every year something hideous happens and a bunch of people at the picnic die. But every year everyone goes back. But the details that elaborate on it--how everyone starts out irate but gradually over the course of the year chills out about it, and if there are commercials on TV it can't be too bad, and the few people who keep protesting are seen as zealots and crackpots--are not really insightful. Nothing about the story goes very far beyond "somehow people keep convincing themselves to do stupid things over and over," with no new twist, no thoughts on why, nothing to make you feel anything but pathetic for ever watching bad TV or eating Twinkies.

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