Links to my older book reviews.

Not all of them, but the ones I could readily find old posts about.  I am looking through my poorly organized Gmail folders for more worthy posts and reviews.

My review of Susan Perabo’s "Who I Was Supposed to Be" is now up at small spiral notebook.

I’m not sure how clear my review was on my feelings about this
book, mainly because the feelings themselves were not clear, are not
clear.  This seemed like it would be just the sort of thing I like a
lot – ambiguity, strangeness, dreamlike interactions and occurences.
Part of me suspects that the reason it didn’t hold up was a lack of
framework – narrative-wise, maybe, or plot-wise – to hold up the
strangeness.  And yet, these small scenes of dark, forboding oddities
are delicious in other places – Haruki Murakami, of course.  Murakami
puts odd notions together with Carver-inspired narrative and a
sprinkling of cultural references that ground the story, tethers that
hold the whole thing somewhat close to the ground.  Even arcane
references to a Japanese culture I know nothing about would have made a
difference in these stories, but they really seem disconnected from any
particular time.  Which, again, as I write it, seems like it would be a
plus and not a minus. 

And in my earlier post, I wrote something about this book of stories
being something akin to a drink of really clean, clear water.  (I
wasn’t sure then, either.)  I still hold to that – some of the stories
have stuck with me.  In fact, one of them I make reference to in the
review – the man pursuing his wife and another man across various
landscapes and forms of transportation – that story, at least, seems to
be about something, despite not being willing to A) tell me what that
something is, or B) leave the door open in a way that allows for
different interpretations.  There’s no interpreting because there just
isn’t enough there to invite conjecture.

And yet, I keep coming back to it. 


My review of Insect Dreams – The Half Life of Gregor Samsa appears today in the Spring Quarterly Conversation – about halfway down in the table of contents.

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