title: The Uninnocent [support an independent bookseller and purchase at Strand]
author: Bradford Morrow
genre: short stories
source: I received an advanced reader’s copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have a confession: I didn’t exactly finish this story collection. Usually, I have a policy of not reviewing things I haven’t finished. But since it was my fault I didn’t get finished (I completely forgot that my ebook would expire after 2 months!!) and since this was a strong collection of short stories, I’ll talk about the ones I did read.
Strong start: The Hoarder
The story’s main character is obsessed with collecting things, but his penchant for acquisition takes a dark turn when he sets his sights on his brother’s girlfriend. Quiet and deliberate, this story moves with a dull weight.
My favorite: The Uninnocent
This one stuck with me. Two children, in desperate need of a good psychologist, “deal” with the death of their brother by looking for messages sent by him from beyond, and carry out what they interpret as his instructions with disturbing results. Poor Butter.
Fell flat: Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace didn’t work for me. It just seemed a bit too easy in terms of the choices Morrow made. Man loses sight. Man becomes a motivational speaker. Man miraculously regains sight only to learn he may have been better off left in the dark about what his family had been up to behind his back (pun absolutely intended). Overly reliant on religious crutches, at times cliche…I felt like I always knew exactly what was going to happen next. This story is actually why I didn’t finish the book. Morrow is so touted as a master of American noir, and when I read this genre, I prefer mine to be a balance of the quiet/familiar with the disturbing/unexpected.
Rubric rating: 6. I definitely want to finish this collection.
Sidebar: I have been finding lately that the bulk of the content of my reviews has been coming to me while I’m in the shower. Apparently, I do my best reflection on my reading mid-lather. The trouble is, by the time I get out, I can’t remember some of the strongest points I wanted to make. Now, I’ve tried keeping a pen and some paper on the sink next to the shower, but that just results in wet, runny paper…so I was thinking: what if I installed a small white board in my shower? Like, in a place where the water won’t hit it directly? So, I can at least get my thoughts down before I lose them? Super practical? Or is that REALLY weird? Thoughts?