Margaret Adelle's Reviews > And Then We Vanish: Collected Stories

And Then We Vanish by D.H. Schleicher
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really liked it

I've reviewed another book by the author before and loved it, so when he offered me a copy of this short story collection for review, I was happy to oblige!

While most of the stories were originally published elsewhere, they all generally carry a theme of a person disappearing for a certain length of time. A lot of the endings are left ambiguous and it's not sure if the person died or simply got lost. In other cases, the disappearance is only temporary or the result of something not life-threatening.

A lot of the protagonists are unlikeable. A lot of the male characters are... iffy when it comes to women. In some cases they can be downright creepy. Thankfully, those don't make up the entirety of the protagonists and there are likeable ones as well.

The only downside, and this may be nitpicky on my part, is the repeated theme of social media. In every story where a social media is a factor, the character using it is always a woman that is shallow, obsessed with telling everyone ever facet of her life, or both. Unlike the main theme, which has nuance and variety, the social media theme feels stale and outdated. It's trying to say something pertinent about the state of internet culture, but it sounds like it's from an elderly relative that only got a Facebook profile because the family insisted on it. The stories are taken from over a decade of work, so it is possible these stories are actually from years ago. But they definitely haven't aged well.

Social media theme aside, the writing style is well done and evocative. While a lot of the protagonists aren't likeable, they're all interesting. If you're looking for a way to spend an evening dwelling on the horrors of how easy it is to lose touch with others, it's a great pick.
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Reading Progress

March 11, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
March 11, 2020 – Shelved
April 12, 2020 – Started Reading
April 12, 2020 – Finished Reading

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