... 12 stories, every single one a profound narrative that takes a different form. When they get surreal, they are reminiscent of dream sequences. Even when they don’t, there is the slight hint of something unearthly, or at least uncanny throughout the book ... Lucy Ives writes prose with the poetry inherent in her words, making the natural unnatural and the monotone fascinating, filtering and projecting the reality through the eyes of a poet. While doing so, she unveils parts of the human nature through the book’s ostensibly mundane events ... The characters and their surroundings are recognizable to anyone in contact with any metropolitan art scene ... For an individual who is actually in the arts, it’s thrilling[.]
The stories all meander into something unexpected before exploding in truth and keen observations of human nature ... The pieces vary in form and self-awareness; Ives’ cultural criticism is often a character, sometimes even the narrator, in these tales. High-art culture, late capitalism, and early marriage are some of the most commonly skewered themes. Ives has the rare ability to boomerang reality totally out of whack before calling it home in an even purer form.
A dozen improvisatory narratives from a mind that just won't stop ... a series of impossibly clever riffs on familiar features of modern life ... plot and character serving mainly as carriers for intellectual humor and existential riffs ... The Care Bears, Louise Nevelson, Mallarmé, a bodega cat named Ersatz Panda...everything a grad student in semiotics could dream of is here ... Very far over some readers' heads lies the sweetest of spots for others.