Thompson skinny-dips into her characters' skulls. We eavesdrop on their most private thoughts, their justifications and reversals of conscience, as they weigh fleeting passions against long-term longings. Anyone want to place a wager on what wins out in the end? While they lazily play out moments of moral turpitude in unassuming settings, these characters observe the scenery with a constant supply of devastating dialogue. Witness Benny in "The Little Heart," as she carries on a conversation with Pete, a lover half her age: "You are the most beautiful creature. Hush. You are. I'm crazy about you. Throwing caution to the winds here." Lesser writers would stop right there, leaving the passage flat and artless, but listen to the bomb Thompson drops in the very next line: "Do you know I've been menstruating for longer than you've been alive?" Who Do You Love can occasionally fall into the variations-on-a-theme category, but there's nothing tedious here. Thompson's prose is often witty and her delvings into seaminess--drugs, flings, futile jobs--are never patronizing or sensational. In her world there's always a little room left over at the end for grace. --Ryan Boudinot --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Each short story is its own, self-contained world that belongs to the reader as much as the characters.
I haven't read Jean Thompson's earlier work, but I plan to after reading this collection, and I look forward to more stories from her.
The stories have an intelligence to them and while melancholy in nature, there is a stunning use of wit as well.
I've enjoyed the stories. However, the first 5-10 pages of the book have fallen out. They were not glued in well. Not worth sending the book back but annoying.Published 3 months ago by Unctioneer
I'm so grateful I discovered Jean Thompson. Her style of writing is truly a gift that not many authors can claim. Read morePublished 5 months ago by BarbaraBee
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. Read morePublished 17 months ago by K. Bunker
This is a fabulous collection. Buy it, read it, and you'll remember why you like short stories. Thompson is a gifted fictionist.Published 17 months ago by Mark Anderson
Jean Thompson is a brilliant and intelligent author, whose strong-tempered voice is laced with realism and sanguine humor. Read morePublished on April 1, 2011 by Pippin O' Rohan
Henry David Thoreau famously said, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation," but I don't think that's true at all. Read morePublished on September 1, 2010 by Keith Otis Edwards
My girl friend travels much, and when she does, I usually read her to sleep from one of my many story books. I purchased this text with that intent in mind. Read morePublished on September 21, 2007 by The Other Guy
I was given this book by a friend who (like so many who seem to have read this work) heard about it from David Sedaris. Read morePublished on June 16, 2007 by R. Baker
If you're looking for epic storytelling, this is not the book for you. "Who Do You Love" is filled with tales of more-or-less ordinary people. Read morePublished on June 6, 2007 by Douglas King