Sunday, November 6, 2011

Review: The Other Side by E. Thomas Finan

Reviewed by Christina
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Published: 2010

It's about: This is Finan's debut collection of short stories. In many of the stories, characters are examining their lives as they contemplate major changes. One woman looks inward as her extramarital affair spoils. A twenty-eight-year old wonders why his life has fallen flat. A young migraine-sufferer makes a strange discovery. A nihilist makes an unlikely friend on a bus trip to Key West.

I thought: This was a very quick read. It's a slim volume and I read almost the whole thing in one sitting. I found it well-suited to such a reading. It kept my attention through the gearshifts that happened with each new story, but the collection as a whole still felt cohesive. There are some really good recurring themes: silence, change, uncertainty.

The writing is excellent, though something about the style seems a little... overthought? Maybe a tad too intentional for my taste? I'm sorry, I know those ideas are vague and unhelpful. Even though the subject matter is generally rooted in real life, these stories felt like stories in a way that I didn't really like.

Verdict: In-between.

Reading Recommendations: Read it in one sitting! Or, you know, split it up. Short stories are so accommodating that way.

Warnings: Uh, I don't know. I sorta forgot to watch out for stuff. Maybe a couple of swears? Sex is mentioned in passing. Nothing too shocking.

What I'm reading next: Exiled by Helene Holt. My grandfather lent it to me because it's about one of our ancestors. Fun times!