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Another fine mess

Reader fan critic teacher reader fan.

Currently reading

Ottessa Moshfegh
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
David Nickle
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)
Derek Bok
Dissident Gardens
Jonathan Lethem
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
Kim Newman
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
Complete Novels
Dashiell Hammett, Steven Marcus
Bang Crunch: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) - Neil Smith WRITTEN WAY BACK: I'm 3 stories in. (I let these collections sit by the bed, and pick up and dabble, like cleansers between other courses.) Smith has a remarkable confidence, backed up by a precision in prose. The stories are high-concept whimsy (the bang) shackled to an almost-emo sincerity, often despairing (the crunch). I like 'em well enough, but I keep seeing Lorrie Moore and Judy Budnitz staring over his shoulder... so I can't recommend him as the best bright new thing. But there's talent and ambition, so he may be another comer, finding the right pitch....

Finally closed the door on the last story. I enjoyed each one, as they came along, but what I say above kind of stands--nothing threw me over, made me rethink my sense of story, made me double over (in pain, empathy, astonishment, laughter). But that's a pretty damn unfair standard to bring to bear, and they were pretty consistently good, these stories, and very worth parsing out.