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Top customer reviews
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First of all, who wants to be any kind of version of George Saunders?
Also, I’m pretty sure the majority of millennials have never even heard of George Saunders, probably because he doesn’t publish via Vice/Boost House.
Finally, Matt Rowan is no spring chicken, I’ll tell you that right now.
I don’t know what the word “venerable” means.
Is it like an STD?
Not going to look it up.
The first story is about the rise and fall of an old-timey burger joint, and it doesn’t end well, but I can’t remember why.
These stories are sooooo long.
They’re the kind of stories you’d read in The Paris Review, or maybe McSweeney’s.
Unfortunately, I don’t read the Paris Review.
Plus, I gave up on McSweeney’s years ago.
Come to think, I’ve pretty much given up on everything.
I liked the ending of the second story because (SPOILER ALERT) the main character crashes his car into a Chinese restaurant (it took a while to get there but, boy, what a payoff!).
There’s a lot going on in these stories.
Unfortunately, I’m stupid and can’t keep up with any of it.
Rowan’s funny and his characters are quirky but there’s so much to take in, plot-wise, that the funny characters don’t breathe.
I couldn’t breathe, either.
Rowan’s rambling narrative style suffocated me, which isn’t to say this style is bad because lots of readers need to be suffocated, myself included.
Rowan’s rambling narrative style is kind of like how Donald Barthelme (or maybe Barry Hannah) would write if he were on Adderall, so maybe the comparison to a millennial version of Saunders isn’t too far off; millennials love their Adderall.
There’s a story about a baker whose pastries come to life and murder him (I think).
I think someone drowned in one story (?).
I basically didn’t properly read this book.
Perhaps someday I’ll read it properly.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
Rowan is handsome, funny, and a wicked talented writer.
That’s all you can hope for in this world: good looks, a sense of humor, and wicked talent.
Rowan’s got this.
It's how Josie and I read the majority of this collection over a road trip because radio kept rehashing Nickelback songs we didn't know and Loverboy's Working for the Weekend. It ended up being a great decision even if Matt Rowan's athletic grammar is not always your friend, because it blew up every little detail and subtleties of his storytelling and the man is influenced by the American avant-garde so details and subtleties there are, as Yoda would say.
My favorite stories were Infant Flight and The Bureau of Everything Fitting Into Its Rightful Place, which are patient and rewarding pieces that not only obfuscate their original meaning, but that expand upon it and reveal more ambitious aims as they go along. Not that many people will read these challenging little puzzles in this day and age, but it's a shame because Matt Rowan cares about tangibly to his readers lives, probably more than the readers care about getting something from their books.