An awkward young woman observe life in all its ugliness and liveliness
My posting streak was interrupted by laptop theft. But now I have a nicer one! Anyway, I had read Rebecca Curtis's recent story in Harpers and realized I needed to read more of her stories. I loved the story in Harpers. It sucked you right in then took you on a journey. The construction was really clever. Even though none of the stories in this debut collection were as wonderful as that Harper's story, I really enjoyed this collection. Rebecca Curtis has a unique voice.
This collection had two types of stories. The first kind were realistic, concerning a sensitive narrator in an intolerable situation with comically dreadful supporting characters. Most of the "realistic" stories are set in New Hampshire, among the meatheads. Those were by far the strongest -- emotionally deep and hilarious. My favorites were Hungry Self and The Alpine Slide and The Witches. Twenty Grand, the title story, fell in this vein, though the plot felt a little too contrived. Then there were the more surreal, fabulist stories, with a political orientation. They were more colorless and and more humorless. Thinner. The key thing here is the narrative perspective.