In the interest of full disclosure, let me say up front -- I am a Philistine. I struggle with poetry (or mostly avoid it); tend to fall asleep mid-sentence when reading overly-literary books; and often, when I finish a short story, I scratch my head and say "huh?"
But, I have read a couple of Jay Neugeboren's novels and so I thought I'd give this collection a scan one evening while propped up on pillows waiting for Jon Stewart to come on. I missed Jon Stewart that night, so rivited was I to these stories.
I'm not going to go into each tale or even say which were my favoirtes. Some are touching, some are humorous, and some are depressing, but all are arresting, surprising and thought provoking. Even the dedication is a story -- one that brought me to tears.
Knowing that it might threaten my status as a Philistine, I nonetheless would like to mention that it is a joy to read Neugeboren's writing -- to study his sentence structure, word choices, and timing. He is a literary writer who is at once complex and accessible.