Mathews demonstrates in these stories an uncanny ability to inhabit characters with just a few well-crafted sentences. A master impersonator, Mathews employs a variety of voices, capturing the subtle nuances of dialect and pop lingo to explore with psychological acuity the doubt and insecurities that plague these varied individuals ... Mathews excels at portraying the emotional pain felt by those without a clear place in the world and the universality of self-doubt. The versatility of literary techniques shows a writer in the process of sharpening his unique voice.
Quirky ... The tormented, misguided protagonists raise common human miseries to a higher power and unconsciously reveal the seedy motivations behind their actions. This is an eclectic, accomplished collection.
Highlight[s] more lows than highs in the tricky business of emotional investment ... certainly is not a love song of the homely, sentimental sort. It’s realistic without cynicism, more of an extended aria for a range of intimacies and attachments that never run smoothly. There’s some respite in humor ...Mathews is a restless stylist, and some experiments here are less successful than others, but such efforts suggest he isn’t satisfied even with his more accomplished conventional stories, and his talent suggests he shouldn’t be ... A patchy but impressive collection from a resourceful writer.