Taking the average of my rating for each story – 2.5 stars.
Sorta bummed. Maybe I went into this with higher hopes than I should have. Maybe I let thoughts of Stephen King (which, poor Owen, must always be compared to) influence my take on these stories. Or maybe I just didn’t get it. I will say, though, with the few typos in the Kindle edition, it was very well written. Owen King can write. The subjects though…
We’re All in This Together – The longest of the stories in this collection. Three Stars. George is growing up in Maine with a single activist mom and union organizing grandfather. This was a political complaint about George Bush getting the white house in 2000 meets coming of age tale. Politics…bleh. I have a difficult time with anything political in reading. The coming of age part was really good. There were moments when you weren’t really sure of the timeline, where part of it felt so 1980s and other parts felt 2000…and even parts where it felt more 1950s than any other time period.
Frozen Animals – Two stars. Two poor trappers take a dentist up a mountain to care for the one’s pregnant wife. I understood where the story ended. I completely understood what went on…but overall, to me, it felt like there was no real point to the story. I kept waiting for the “twist”…are the trappers going to eat the dentist? Will the dentist do something out of character for himself? And in the end it was…meh. Where is the twist?
Wonders – Four Stars! The best of the bunch! The story of a baseball player for a minor league on Coney Island…where some of the sideshow attractions are part of the game. For some reason, this one was a win. The strains and stresses of an unexpected pregnancy meets handling stupidity of racism meets crazy characters…A pure win.
Snake – UGH! Two stars. Frank, a John Cusak from Say Anything seeming youth, deals with his divorced parents and visitations with his drunken father. Loves reading. This one had me…It was so good…of all the avenues it could have taken…and in the end, it fell flat. It just…stopped. I’m left with wonder and confusion, and maybe that was the point, but I like at least a somewhat ending to a story…not just a handful of possibilities and the seeming end in the middle of a paragraph.
My Second Wife – Two stars at the most. The most confusing, rambling thing that I actually finished reading. A man laments the loss of his wife and “marries” another “woman” while on a trip with his brother to purchase a car owned by a mass murderer on death row. Um…I think the only thing I understood was the part where the MC watched a Jerry Springer type show and saw “the new wife(?)” … and…um…not that I’m against it, but in this story it felt like it was there to shock and be sensational rather than a fact.
I don’t know. Again, well written and not overly showy, which is bonus points…but sort of let down. I guess it’s just not for me.
*A SHORTY FEBRUARY READ* – Heavy sigh. Onto Joe Hill.