Are You Here for What I'm Here For?

Are You Here for What I'm Here For?

Book - 2016
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"The suspense creeps in and takes hold in seven stories about troubled characters grappling with rare illnesses, menacing chance encounters, sexual awakening, impending natural disasters, and New Age cults. Within these pages, the everyday meets the uncanny as two high school friends go out for one unforgettable night. A boy, haunted by dreams of a catastrophic flood, becomes swept up in an encephalitis epidemic. A hypochondriac awaits her diagnosis at a Caribbean health resort. A disease researcher meets his nemesis on a train. A father searches for his missing son in a remote mountain lodge where nothing is quite as it seems. An elderly pharmacist protects his adopted nephew, who found a mermaid in a bottle, from a coastal village gripped by hysteria. A teenager is sent to a “therapeutic” boarding school with disturbing methods and is reunited with a staff member years later. Even at its most surreal, this polished and lyrical debut remains grounded in the emotional lives of people teetering atop widening chasms of confusion and doubt."
Publisher: New York, NY : Bellevue Literary Press, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781942658122
Branch Call Number: FIC BOOKER 2016
Characteristics: 252 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


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Aug 23, 2016

Are you looking for a book with disturbing characters and actions that leaves you thinking, "What was the point of that?" If so, this is the book for you! It is well written, suspenseful enough that I read all of the stories even though after two I wasn't sure I wanted to finish it. In my opinion it was a very surreal, confusing and depressing book. In most of the stories, it's hard to tell what reality is or which character has some grip on reality. In some cases it's difficult to ascertain what is actually going on. With the exception of the woman on vacation waiting for a diagnosis, there is very little hope for any of the characters. I know, not everything can have a happy ending, and art for art's sake, etc., but if you're going to write a depressing surrealistic story, make sure it has a point or something. "The Pearl" by Steinbeck is not at all cheerful, but the author writes in a way that makes you think about larger ideas and themes and not just about what happened to a few individuals. In my opinion, this is what makes reading a depressing story worthwhile. This is not true of this collection of short stories.


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