1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
There is no "Fun" With Any of these Problems. However the story The Archer Made Me Laugh Out Loud,
This review is from: Fun with Problems (Hardcover)
Once again the title is misleading. If you do not know the work of Robert Stone you might think you were going to encounter fun. Not so. Same trouble with Prime Green his memoir of three years ago. The subtitle of Prime Green said "Remembering The 60's". It was not. It was a memoir of Stone's personal journey through the 1960s. But it was not any kind of history of the 1960s.
Of course this title is meant ironically but it can still be misleading to those not knowing in advance that Stone does not deal in "fun".
I actually really liked only one story in this collection. The Archer made me laugh out loud. I love it when Stone describes some nut case artist losing it in a restaurant. It reminded me of Reinhardt losing it in the oyster restaurant in Stone's first novel A Hall Of Mirrors. Nobody does crazy better than Robert Stone.
The ending was sweet and uplifting. That may be a first for a Stone story.
One big problem I have with this book is the the printing job was really lousy. I found three copies for sale in my local Barnes and Noble bookstore and all three had ink streaks on several pages and large blobs of ink on a page or two. I reported it to the bookstore and the lady said, "That happens". "We will return them". Only thing is I have never seen that in new books before. I have never seen such a sloppy job of printing. Look into this Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books. It needs being taken care of. Has printing really fallen this low in the book business?
But I always like Robert Stone's books. Mainly the first two novels A Hall of Mirrors and Dog Soldiers. A Flag For Sunrise was good also. His short fiction is not as good. But The Archer was a really funny and good story. That is all I can say that I liked about this present book. I look forward to the next novel.
Added on July 13, 2011. I have decided that I really like The Wine-Dark Sea. I just learned part of the story is based on a real life incident from 1972 where a guy tried to throw Robert McNamara overboard from the Martha's Vineyard ferry. You can look that up if you don't believe me.