on 8 December 2013
For those who enjoy short stories Doctorow's book will not disappoint - he constructs his vignettes with his customary descriptive flowing proses and his insight into the human psychic.
The stories are set in differing periods in time with the locations being both identified and assumed with each standing on its own merits.
His ability to create memorable characters in comparatively few pages, render him a talented and often underestimated author.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2007
Publishers say that short stories don't sell but I'm glad to have bought and read this book. The short story may be in decline but only because few writers take them seriously: I can't name a British writer who has recently published a collection that approaches the quality of Doctorow's stories.
There are only five stories but the first four are brilliant examples of how a writer can make people on the edge of society - and often way beyond it - seem almost normal. Doctorow shows us self-deluding cultists, murderers, victims, baby-kidnappers and psychotics living bizarre lives without considering themselves unusual. The last story is interesting but doesn't reach the same level as the four before it.
I haven't read any of Doctorow's novels but I will. He's a real craftsman and my only criticism of this book is that five long-ish short stories isn't enough.