This is a terrific collection of stories by an author who -- although she has been accorded some recognition and success -- is still hugely underrated in my opinion. All those great things people say about Alice Munro -- they're more true of Jean Thompson than they are of Munro (my opinion again, natch). Among Thompson's many qualities as a writer is her versatility; her ability to portray a wide variety of characters. From a teenaged girl to an elderly man to a middle aged woman to a six-year-old boy, Thompson can take us into the minds of all of them and make us believe completely in the reality in what goes on there. Another thing that stands out in her writing is the subtlety and intelligence with which she handles narrative flow -- the "this happened and then this happened" of a story. A personal favorite of mine are the techniques she uses in a couple of stories to slyly and obliquely portray the moment when a relationship becomes sexual. And I could go on and on about Thompson's other skills. The deft plotting, the soft-spoken intensity of her stories, the wisdom of her insights about people and how they react to life. It's a mark of the richness of these stories that, having just finished the book, I'm tempted to turn back to page 1 and start reading them again. ("A good reader [...] is a rereader" Nabokov once said.) But I think I'll put off that pleasure; there are still several of Thompson's books that I haven't read even once yet.
About This Item
Simon & Schuster
|Number of Pages|
Who Do You Love
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
8.00 x 5.25 x 0.90 Inches
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