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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

The Bridegroom Was a Dog - Margaret Mitsutani, Yōko Tawada I enjoy postmodern fiction, but thought this triptych did not quite work. The eponymous first story begins with great promise and is suitably odd. It supports the themes, woven through all three pieces, of insider versus outsider, ignoring versus permitting oneself to think about unconventional behaviors, and human strangeness versus cultural prescriptions. However, it does not work as a story--despite the dreamlike nature of the narrative, it does not really even follow discernible dream logic. The second piece, "Missing Heels," reads like an early writing workshop piece in that it tries too hard to bring together unrelated symbols (squid, ears) in a story that would have held its own brilliantly with the omission of those elements. I'd have found the piece both odd and poignant without these intrusions; with them, I was impatient. The final story, "The Gotthard Railway," again almost works and gets closer to the emotional tone I think the author is aiming for, but again it is undone by unnecessary random elements.If I were teaching fiction writing these days, I would assign my students to rewrite these stories so that they worked. They are close enough to that goal to tease, but far enough away to irritate.Great cover, though.