Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, for the most part, 21 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Too Much Happiness (Paperback)
My biggest complaint is that the cover (which includes the usual misleading blurbs) gives the impression that this is a novel. Nowhere does it inform the potential reader that what we get here is ten short stories, surprisingly varied in subject matter and style.
One theme the stories do have in common however (despite the rather ironic title) is death, or at least the expectation of death, be it murder, accident, suicide or illness. Another common characteristic of these stories is that although they are all relatively short, they often cover a long time scale, even whole lifetimes in some cases. This is accomplished without any difficulty, and the stories are all easy to read and enjoyable enough, given the limitations of the short story in general (ie, not enough time to fully involve the reader or develop the characters, a criticism that applies to this collection to some extent).
Only one of the ten made me wonder what was the point, and as it was I think the sixth story, I was already impressed enough to keep reading, which I'm glad I did because the final story, the one that gives the book its title, is both very different and perhaps the most enjoyable. This is a brief foray into the realms of historical fiction based on fact, about the life of a Russian mathematics professor, the first woman to hold such a position. A lot of good stuff packed into a small space.
So all in all, highly recommended. Just don't expect to be drawn in the way you might be with a good novel.
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4.1 out of 5 stars (47 customer reviews)
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