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Many Local Souls, Local Stories
on May 3, 2014
This collection left me with many questions and wondering Why am I reading this? until I reached the third, and by far the longest, story, "Decoy". Here is where the author's agenda of "local souls" finally and truly hit home for me after the quirky and somewhat unsatisfying opening stories of "Fear Not" and "Saints Have Mothers". I should amend that to say that "Fear Not", while definitely quirky, was not as unsatisfying for me as the second story...but perhaps if I were the mother of a pretty perfect teenage daughter I'd be better able to relate.
As for the final story, it exists on many levels of family, friendship, community, pseudo-community (the artifice we build up around ourselves and call our life). It runs from childhood to old age and deals with all manner of life events in many ways as Bill Mabrey (Jr) contemplates the life he has been (lucky) to have due to the rather odd luck of his father.
Gurganus shows a very fertile imagination and writing style, much of which I appreciated but some of which was a little beyond my interest. I am interested in trying him again as I found his voice in "Decoy"to be so compelling.