PositiveBookforumMost readers, I’d imagine, will politely pass, siding with my friend who suggested that Lutz’s work would be improved by its translation into English. But a passionate few—those of us known to recite his sentences as if they were song lyrics—will find cause to rejoice ... Taken as a whole, the volume offers less an illustration of authorial evolution than one of remarkable artistic consistency...Which is to say: Lutz emerged fully formed, style-markers and preoccupations intact ... For a writer like Lutz, the omnibus is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, one can’t help but feel awe at the sheer quantity of pristinely ornamented sentences collected here. On the other, these stories are not meant for rapid consumption ... Further, one gets worn down by the relentless bleakness of Lutz’s worldview and the tonal homogeneity of his stories.
RaveBook ForumTrying to capture the experience of a character on the brink of insanity is daring and rarely successful. When it works—think William Burroughs at his best—readers must be able to encounter the narrator’s skewed psychology without becoming lost amid the hallucinatory logic. The Orange Eats Creeps performs this tricky balancing act, which partly explains how Krilanovich can inhabit a ludicrous plot (hobo vampires?) without tumbling into horror kitsch. She nails the shaky worldview of a supernatural teen narco-insomniac who drifts in and out of dreams as fluidly as she drifts in and out of sexual encounters ... This novel immerses the reader in the warped perspective of its protagonist without ever quite sacrificing sense ... Vampirism is a well-worn horror trope, but Krilanovich finds unique things to say with it.
Mixed4 Columns... [Ives] has a fondness for wordplay, and moves between registers to comic effect ... Some of this is very funny, but at times Ives’s targets feel like low-hanging fruit ... the reader doesn’t quite fall beneath Loudermilk’s spell. Perhaps this is the point—Loudermilk is a cipher—but it’s hard to get invested in so vacuous a hero ... Ives’s novel is meta-textual, sprinkled with the poems and stories that its characters turn in for class...what we’re presented with in Loudermilk resists easy interpretation ... When we can’t trust the gatekeepers to tell us what to think, we’re left only with our own unreliable subjectivity.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewTaken together, these anecdotes paint a picture of combat-zone parenthood that goes beyond politics while reinforcing the imperative need for lasting peace. Fatherhood is not the only subject of interest. We have ruminations on everything from delayed flights to telemarketers. Some of it is profound, much of it less so ... Keret has a tendency toward reductive summation and his explorations often cutely resolve before they have a chance to get going. The nonfictional Keret is gentler than his fictional self; instead of an angry young man we get a defanged father ... at fewer than 200 pages, the book is too slim to comprise so much filler. Keret is best when he sticks to family, and particularly the subject of his father, a Holocaust survivor. Keret risks sentimentality recklessly and often. When it works, the payoff is powerful: a palpable urgency of emotion.