Sunday, November 27
Book Review: Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
Author: Zsuzsi Gartner
Pages: EBook (Approx 181)
Summary: From an emerging master of short fiction and one of Canada's most distinctive voices, a collection of stories as heartbreaking as those of Lorrie Moore and as hilariously off-kilter as something out of McSweeney's.
In Better Living through Plastic Explosives, Zsuzsi Gartner delivers a powerful second dose of the lacerating satire that marked her acclaimed debut, All the Anxious Girls on Earth, but with even greater depth and darker humour. Whether she casts her eye on evolution and modern manhood when an upscale cul-de-sac is thrown into chaos after a redneck moves into the neighbourhood, international adoption, war photography, real estate, the movie industry, motivational speakers, or terrorism, Gartner filets the righteous and the ridiculous with dexterity in equal, glorious measure. These stories ruthlessly expose our most secret desires, and allow us to snort with laughter at the grotesque world we'd live in if we all got what we wanted.
My Rating: 4/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: Incredibly well written, intelligent and witty writer the has a lot of talent when it comes to writing, it's what I enjoyed most about the book, was the quality of writing that was in it. Unfortunately, that's where the good parts of the book ended, as I didn't enjoy the plots of tje short stories - there's great writing, but you need more than that to tell a good story and I found the story telling wasn't up to par with the writing.
I didn't find the stories left much of an impression on me, I read them, but none of them stuck with me. They didn't have much of a plot to them, and the characters were written in a way that you couldn't connect to them, they were just words on the page. I can't say I have a favourite short story from the collection. While I enjoyed the author's writing, the actual storytelling fell flat.
Would I recommend it to read: I'm not sure, I didn't find the collection to be a good read. Excellent wiring yes, but I need a little more in a book, especially in a collection of short stories.
What to read next: This is from the Giller shortlist, so I'd say the other books from the shortlist.
Challenges: Canadian Reading Challenge 5