Friday, August 21, 2015


Lynne Tillman

Ms. Hen picked this collection of short stories up on a whim in her local public library. She didn’t know anything about the book or the author, but she liked the cover and was intrigued by the title. She figured since it was a library book there was no loss of money, so she checked it out.

Ms. Hen liked reading the book, but she didn’t like it too much. She thought the stories were very snappy. What she means by that, is that they’re very contemporary, quick-witted and sharp and almost too smart for their own good. She didn’t want to like the book too much, but there were some stories that caught her attention.

In “Playing Hurt,” the protagonist, Abigail, is a lawyer interested in money and honesty. She gets married to the wrong man, but she doesn’t discover how wrong he is until she’s already married to him. One of the reasons Ms. Hen liked this story was the opening sentence mentioned that her friends thought that Abigail better lay her golden eggs fast. Another reason Ms. Hen liked this is because it’s not like other stories in which everyone lives happy ever after. The character is shallow, and Ms. Hen didn’t like her, but Ms. Hen was still happy that Abigail didn’t lose in the end.

“But There’s a Family Resemblance,” is a story about the legends of someone’s family. Everyone has rumors in their families, but Charlie, the narrator, talks about the duty for a family to keep its secrets. However, Charlie never found out the secret of his namesake, Uncle Charlie and why his uncle broke his own mother’s heart after his death. Ms. Hen kept reading the story, and was waiting to find out Uncle Charlie’s secret, but she never did. Ms. Hen felt cheated because she never discovered what happened.

Ms. Hen enjoyed the story “Love Sentence,” because she thought it was more like a poem than a short story. She didn’t pay a lot of attention to the characters or what they did or said, but she did pay attention to the things around the stories, quotes from everyone imaginable were injected into the story, such as Shakespeare, Andy Warhol and Freud. She thought this story made her feel comfortable.

She didn’t like the way a lot of the stories in this collection made her feel. She thought a lot of the stories were trying to be offensive and crude without making much effort. She realizes that every writer has a variety of styles, but she didn’t like the different tones of most of the stories.

Ms. Hen’s favorite thing about this book was that there were four times in which the author Edith Wharton was mentioned. She was excited because she visited Edith Wharton’s mansion, The Mount, at the time she was reading this book. She thought it was a happy coincidence. Readers should expect Ms. Hen’s review of The Mount soon!

Ms. Hen liked taking a chance and choosing a book that was unknown to her. She didn’t completely dislike this collection, but she didn’t love it. She gives SOMEDAY THIS WILL BE FUNNY three and a half feathers up.

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