...one of the year’s most engaging volumes ... With its hardboiled edge, Connolly’s story is also the collection’s most noir-ish, but nearly all convey dark themes ... Each tale sings with the distinct voice of its creator, and all are worthy reads in their own right—an appreciation of Hopper isn’t necessary to enjoy all they have to offer ... The narratives included here fulfill that promise inherent in Hopper’s work. And like the best of that work, they suggest a world that continues beyond themselves, one filled with light, shadow, and the mystery of other people.
Anyone familiar with the story’s author — and who isn’t familiar with Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, at least? — can gain an extra layer of pleasure by trying to guess, before reading the story, how the author might be likely to handle it ... As is generally the case with anthologies, a few of the stories are rather disappointing or flat, but there are some absolute knockouts, too.
As seductive as the idea and as likable as its executor are, the anthology is handicapped by two serious problems. The first is, quite simply, one of quality. For every story that is deeply imagined and felt, there is one that feels perfunctory, at best..The second problem is deeper and altogether more slippery, but it has to do with a certain banality inherent in the book’s operating principle, one that fundamentally misunderstands both Hopper specifically and the relation between art and narrative more generally ... As clever and loving as some of these acts of homage are, their creation ultimately works against the paintings that inspired them. Their celebration contains a diminishment.