Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vanishing and Other Stories by Deborah Wilis: Book Review

These are the hardest books for me to review, as I am not the most cerebral women in the world. But hey I do know what cerebral means, and I didn't have to spell check it, so I am not completely without intelligence.  The writers are fantastic, I do get that, but their stories are just not my thing, and I don't want my review to discourage someone from reading their work. At the same time, I cannot give the book a high rating, if I really didn't enjoy it.  Just wanted to give you a heads up and also so if for some reason the author sees this review, they won't get offended and email nasty things about me.

Vanishing and Other Stories
by Deborah Wilis
Harper Perennial
ISBN: 978-0-06-200752-0
Description: Vanishing and Other Stories explores emotional and physical absences, the ways in which people leave, are left, and whether or not it's ever possible to move on. Readers will encounter a skinny ice-cream scooper named Nina Simone, a vanishing visionary of social utopia, a French teacher who collects fianc├ęs, and a fortune-telling mother who fails to predict the heartbreak of her own daughter. The characters in this collection will linger in the imagination, proving that nothing is ever truly forgotten.

About the Author

Deborah Willis grew up in Calgary. Her fiction has appeared in Event, Grain, PRISM International, and the U.K.'s Bridport Prize Anthology. She currently works as a bookseller in Victoria.

The Good Stuff
  • Author is exceptionally talented at emotions and insights
  • Her descriptions are so beautifully written you can almost feel, hear and touch the story
  • Not overly depressing for a Canadian author - I know I have issues with this
  • Insightful descriptions of human nature and emotions
  • My favorite stories were "The Seperation", "Sky Theatre", "Caught" and Vanishing. Although I think Vanishing would have been better as a longer story, as it felt rushed at times
  • Love seeing familiar Canadian locations as settings, trust me when you read so much non Canadian books, you feel giddy when you recognize something so familiar as the Bloor viaduct or Spadina
  • Heartrendingly honest
The Not so Good Stuff
  • Far too cerebral for my tastes.
  • Some of the characters in various stories are just sort of sad and pathetic and quite frankly could care less about them.
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"He must have been such a fascinating man." Yes, she smiles. He was very clever. Vanishing, she thinks, was the smartest thing he ever did."

"They seemed comfortable in their bodies,  like Adam and Eve before they understood they were naked."

"Jay and I held hands and made our pilgrimage from one planet to the next. We started at Pluto, as this was before it was demoted."

What I Learned
  • I'm not a fan of short stories
  • Wished I was more cerebral so I could enjoy this wonderful writers work more
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Wonderful for book clubs, University/College classes
  • My sister in law's would love this and will pass it on to them
  • Not for those who just want to lose themselves in a story
3.5 Dewey's

I received this from Harper Perennial in return for an honest review -- no money changed hands and no bribes were offered (unfortunately).

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