Friday, February 09, 2007

Book Review: Things You Should Know

Things You Should Know by A. M. Homes

A. M. Homes can do anything. And she does. Her stories in this collection often surprise and stun at the same time she maneuvers the characters and the stories in ways that are magical. This doesn't always mean, though, that every attempt succeeds. Some stories fail outright and would likely never have been published on their own, others simply deflate after moment and magic has passed. Where Homes succeeds is when she is more human. The story "Do Not Disturb," depicting a failing relationship succeeds because she manages some of her general absurdity while maintaining empathy. The closing story "The Former First Lady and the Football Hero" is on its surface preposterous and seems bound to produce laughs alone. Homes manages even with humor for color to give the reader a clear vision of how it is to live with someone with Alzheimer's that still me days after finishing this collection.

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