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kfan

the terror of whatever

My life in Goodreads exile

Currently reading

Ex Machina, Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days
Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris
The World Without Us
Alan Weisman

How to Take Yourself Apart, How to Make Yourself Anew

How to Take Yourself Apart, How to Make Yourself Anew - Aaron Burch There is a story in this collection called "Molting" that is extremely, extremely, good. It has a really strong voice and in a very short amount of time it moves deftly from funny to weird to sad to scary. I loved it. This is the writer at the top of his game.

Unfortunately the rest of the stories were comparatively flat. Metaphors come and go (origami, mortar, sawing 2x4s, baseball mitt, caladrius!), often in the same story, to no strong end. I imagine these images and the words that string them together hold great meaning for the author, but it felt like he was holding us at arm's length, no invitation to form an emotional bond with the stories.

There are some really good lines here and there ("Don't worry about the scarring or healing. It will have already happened.") alongside some that could have used more ironing ("Don't think about it, don't think about not thinking about it. It isn't in your shoulders like you think." "Writing commits to memory and, when unsure, revert to rote.").

Overall it felt uneven, tentative, like Aaron was holding something back. Why? When he lets the emotions go the results are super good.

Also, worth noting: Pank did an amazing job with this book. Pre-ordering was great, fulfillment was timely, the book design is excellent, the price was spot-on. Will buy from Pank again, 100%.