Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

I’m not usually a short-story reader but I have been trying to read more lately. As I have found with most collections I have read in the past, I really enjoyed some of the stories in this book and just didn’t care about others, which made it a weird reading experience. There are stories in here spanning all of Eugenides’ writing career and it was clear to see that he has grown and improved as a writer. Even though the years weren’t listed until the end, I could guess when I was reading them what was older and what was newer. A lot of his older pieces seemed, at least to me, to get stuck in the world and character building, not allowing plot to really occur. Not that short stories have to be plot driven, but these earlier pieces seemed like weird studies rather than polished stories. They weren’t bad, they just weren’t great. I never disliked reading this book but I also didn’t feel strongly about it when I finished it. I feel very so-so about the whole thing.

3-stars

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

I was pleasantly surprised by this collection.  Tom Hanks can write!  The stories are diverse and interesting (even though they all contain a typewriter) and I had a joy reading the majority of them.  That said, there is one story that he returns to time and time again that I couldn’t stand.  I would be feeling very good about the book and then would be so incredibly disappointed.

One of the stories has stuck out to me more than the others since I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  Hanks has worked his way into my head, making this a story collection that I will never forget.

4-stars