Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where The God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom

Despite the inevitable pain of loss, people are drawn to the comforts of love

These short stories are all about the voice, which is very vivid and lively. Amy Bloom is a beautiful prose stylist. Every paragraph is its own short story, larded with imagery, a miniflashback. As a result, the characters are fully rounded, breathing, bleeding. The subject is love and its corollary, death, which at times seems trite but all the characters take love so seriously. They take life seriously. Love is imaginary until you are afflicted by it then it feels biological, bringing insight. However, is it the proper subject for a serious author?

The structure is a little unusual – these are short stories, but with two large lumps of linked short stories. I liked the first one – the one about the couple in their fifties who run off together better than the second one, the one about the jazz singer, which felt like a sketched in novel.

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