Friday, August 5, 2016

Review of "Birds of America" by Lorrie Moore




Moore's stories are well-written and insightful, and she can write humorous scenes, but overall I thought the book was somewhat depressing. In the end I was left with the impression that it's almost impossible for two people to have a fulfilling relationship and almost everyone is unhappy in one way or another. Though this may very well be true it's still dispiriting to read about.

In some of these stories characters hook up with the wrong people because they're lonely and needy - and then are disappointed. In other stories characters have dishonest and/or unfaithful partners and have a hard time dealing with it (throw the bum out would be my view - but this may be easier said than done).

One story is about parents coping with a baby who's stricken with cancer. Another is about a woman who was holding a friend's baby when an accident occurs, killing the child; of course the woman blames herself and can hardly go on.

I think my favorite story is about an unhappy spouse who learns to use a gun, then gets to shoot a nutcase who breaks into people's homes to make them sing. For me this was the most satisfying tale.

It's a good book but you'll probably need something light and fun after reading it.

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