this came into the store on tuesday.
i borrowed it on tuesday.
i read it on tuesday.
now i have to wait for him to write another book which i will probably consume just as quickly. it hardly seems fair. i mean, obviously, it’s my own damn fault for my enthusiasm, but i can’t help feeling like mr. ross is somehow culpable in all of this; to come at me with stories after having written one of the most complicated and gripping novels i have read in recent years (that’s mr. peanut, lazies). he’s like an unscrupulous drug dealer cutting the product to string me along and keep me hooked.
and it’s not that these stories are bad, because they are great. but me, i always prefer novels, despite having discovered some amazing collections in the last year.
like this one.
a positive to this collection is that there are only seven stories. i like that. this means there aren’t any three-pagers of undeveloped ideas slipped in to be hopefully unnoticed. all of these stories have weight and heft and all of that.
but the negative is: seven stories and it’s over. like a middling building in nyfc.
i don’t know how to review short stories without giving away too much, so i’m going to be super brief and shady. observe:
with this one, there was one part that was predictable, and one part that i was awesomely surprised by. and i like to think that the predictable part was intentional, to mislead the reader into thinking they had it all figured out, and then just taking it one step further. a really good way to begin this collection.
The Rest of It
the most layered of them all: shoots and branches and leafy bits reaching out all over the place. kind of puts the reader into the difficult position of not knowing who to root for or sympathize with. in a satisfying, not a confusing way. in a way that feels more like life and less like a contrived situation.
probably my favorite. brings back the late-teen years with the casual betrayals, hope and angst and bluster and treading water. this would make a great short film, like a stand by me for our times…
In the Basement
this one went places dark and creepy. the more i think about this one, the more it chills me, but not because of the actual horrifying and heartbreaking part. kind of like ethan frome, in that the saddest and most emotional part is the what happened in this interim here? what led to this conclusion? what happens now? this one will stay with me for a little while.
When in Rome
no—this one is my favorite—i was wrong. these characters really come to life, and i felt it was just a perfect little capsule of a story. i would read an entire book featuring these brothers.
another perfect story. seriously. perfect. do i overuse that word in this review? i don’t care. this is all puppy love and seeing the big picture for the first time and just perfect radio days or a christmas story youthfulness. this story made me mad the collection was coming to a close.
Ladies and Gentlemen
oh, another perfect story. yeah, see how bad i am at reviewing? i give up—i loved this collection, adam ross is now among the very top tier of my favorite authors, and i know i have only made with the four-
star cat ratings for both of his books now, and i don’t know why that is, but that is what i feel. and yet, i also feel that i love these books more than other books with four stars cats. star cat ratings are problematic, but i wholeheartedly endorse these books and if i could focus better in the deadly heat, this review would be more convincing.
trust my feelings, not my words.