Sunday, April 19, 2009

Book Review: "McSweeney's, Vol. 14"

McSweeney's Vol. 14 (2004) is a collection of seventeen pieces of short fiction, two "Convergences" essays by Lawrence Weschler, and journalistic remarks on giant Chinese gerbils. Bearman's gerbil exposé was fun, and reading through the fiction was good for me too, especially since most of it isn't the kind of work I'd normally be drawn to. Some I liked, some not so much. All were well written and worth reading, though.

The musings of a Roman foot soldier stationed on Hadrian's Wall, the internal dilemmas of a female matador, and T.C. Boyle's interesting take on Madam Knight's 1702 trip to New York were good reading. I was creeped out by Ryan Boudinot's dystopian "children have to kill their parents," and affected by Silvia DiPierdomenico's detail-heavy story of a cancer diagnosis. The murderous space pigs were also slightly creepy.

A good, eminently browseable collection of McSweeney's-type fiction.

1 comment:

Diana said...

oh i love this issue. great review