directly after reading an alice munro book and the fantastic murakami collection, a moderately good group of short stories unfortunately suﬀers from comparative disappointment. this book had been recommended to me, and i just read and enjoyed jasmine a few weeks ago, but most of the stories here have a painful lack of development. the stories tend to rest too much on “comic” interactions between characters, which lack the necessary depth to feel like the stories go anywhere rather than sounding natural and lighthearted. everything ends up feeling very stagnant from start to ﬁnish. Mukherjee has wonderful insight on the lives in immigrants in the US, but sometimes this focus seems forced so that in the...more
alice munro’s short stories are always so well-contained — rich with detail but no unnecessary words. as a collection, these stories are less linked than others of hers, but the stories have common themes to keep them together, most predictably relationships. munro’s style is so careful, subtly stunning. most times “nothing really happens,” but there’s so much going on. every so often there is a moment of such breathtaking vision into her characters but otherwise it’s possible to take for granted how well-crafted each one is.
i noticed this time that her stories are usually set in a somewhat archaic, but not very distant past — never quite “present.” only once in this did i feel that the story was painfully short and almost truncated....more
vacation to the south continues, or really had been going on throughout the poetry days. these short stories share a theme of misunderstanding, especially between family members with misaligned philosophies. many parallels of characters trying to do in essentially ﬂawed manners (trying to prove something, trying to be better than others, etc). well-crafted stories: no wasted words, all the pertinent details & nothing unnecessarily thrown in. though also pretty much non-upbeat throughout.more