(from The Man from Kinvara)
Didn’t enjoy this one. Not horrible, just limp. It was simplistic in its handling of of poverty and addiction, like an after-school special. And its sentences often ran one phrase too long; nothing worse than a story that wastes your time. I’m a reader, not an inpatient. I can do something else. I did muddle through to see if it ended in precisely the maudlin non-crescendo I expected. I was close.
To be fair, I probably wasn’t going to be fair. There were a lot of things stacked up against this collection, which has been sitting on my bedroom floor since I snagged it from work a few months ago. 1) Look at that oil-painted cover. This thing looks like the boringest of all boring litmags — the kind even I wouldn’t buy. 2) “Selected Stories” is almost always a hint that what lies within isn’t fun. At best it’ll be respected. 3) The back cover is full of blurbs written in black on charcoal. 4) That might actually be a good thing. This way I can’t read whatever uninteresting thing Haruki Murikami has to say. Going in, the lone upside was the title. “King Death” coulda been so metal.