RaveBookforumIf economy and precision are regulating principles for Davis, the words do not adequately indicate just what it's like to read her work. Her narrators solve puzzles, volley equations, and worry over issues of semantics, while choosing to ignore the human implications of their pursuits … Davis avoids the narrative dressing that typically assists the reader's feelings. Furthermore, there's a nearly autistic failure to acknowledge the emotional heart of the matter, and a curious lack of interest in narrative scenes between characters. The diction is cold and delivered in an anthropological monotone, which throbs like a bass note, suggesting that human beings are no more significant than a glass of water … Davis is an extraordinary technician of language, capable of revealing elusive human tendencies through the most unusual means.
RaveThe New York Times Sunday Book ReviewWhat distinguishes Eisenberg from peers like Grace Paley, Joy Williams and William Trevor is an approach to storytelling that can be dizzyingly prismatic, as if refracted through cracked glass. Eisenberg has little faith in the typical expository armatures that prop up dramatic scenes: who is talking and to whom and about what, even though close reading will answer these questions in time. By stripping away quotation marks and the informational fat that might provide obvious explanations, by thrusting readers into the middle of a conversation with characters we have yet to meet properly or playing hot potato with point of view, Eisenberg tests just how much can be left out before a story drowns in enigma … Eisenberg has given us these remarkable stories, machines of perfect revelation deftly constructed by a contemporary master.
RaveThe New York Times Sunday Book ReviewLike it or not, something is hastening toward us too. And the question of what to do in the meantime — how to feel and what to think before we die — has rarely been reckoned with as bravely as it is in these very fine stories.