I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea. and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.
I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,
Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.
time spent in that before bed reading slot:
5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago 2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.
How are common themes handled?
5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power 4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates 1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.
Where would you keep it post-reading?
5-Next to my bed. 4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.
5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry. 3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.
Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):
5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy
many, apparently coffee induced claps
A solid contribution to an otherwise brilliant and unparallelled collection of writing. I can't in any simple words express how much I enjoy this author. These short stories may not hold up against the glory of her previous work, but they come pretty darn close.
Each is a combination of dark, but also has elements of hope, self discovery, and a lot of potential for our main characters. These characters evolve, recognizing their own flaws, and accomplish some level of person enlightenment.
Take for instance the incredibly story titled End of the Line. The creep factor is at once cringe worthy but also shockingly beautiful—maybe I'm just a tad sick and twisted myself.
A man (a very big man) buys a little man at a pet store. He cages him, tortures him, and breaks this little man. This little man, who was once hopeful and positive is slowly reduced to a fraction of his former self. It is dark, unsettling, and, as with all her shorts, very meaningful. I suppose that is the magic of her writing; she is at once abstract, but also personally connects to the reader. Your understanding of these shorts is very intimate.
The common thread throughout this is violence, and to a large extent power over another form. In another short story A woman cravings for a mango become inseparable for her other thoughts. She is no longer able to think of anything else, not even the simple act of driving her car. She finds, out of pure luck a simple woman selling amazingly delicious mangoes. Oh but be careful what you wish for, because our lead character finds herself in the grasp of a woman who was perceived as simple, but has the ability to collect and cage the essence of our existence. She is able, for instance to encase various objects, such as behaviors, fruits, and body parts in shapes. You can buy these for a hefty fee, and one is confronted with a logic question; is she is able to do this, does the actual object exist from our world? Is buying them back the only way to bring them forward into a world that once lost this object. Is ones ability to train and contain an object like nut expressing a deeper meaning of her ability to control these for her own pleasure? Subjective, personal... creepy.... eery darkness that strikes at your inner cords and elicits fear and makes you feel quite unsettled.
Sometimes you will find that surrealism is a style that either loses the writer or the reader and trails off, losing its significance. NOT here friends. She is skilled in this form and the gentle currents that shift from the normal to the unbelievable seem ever convincing and fit perfectly amount the pages of this lovely collection. You really don't even have to question your own reality, or displace your conscious and unconscious orientation to the walls that surround you, and the world outside them. She does this so well, this style of writing, that you feel at once involved in the storyline, but just outside of it so that you too can collect meaning from it, and if you dare, if you are brave and willing to, embed it into your own personal meaning of you and the world.