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Our Kind

A Novel in Stories

By Kate Walbert

Our Kind
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2004,
    195 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2005,
    208 pages.

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Easily annoyed (02/27/05)

I would recommend to no one this collection of muddled, poorly written, sophomoric stories. I know this book got good reviews. Why? Do reviewers these days consider it creative to neglect rules of grammar and logic? Good writing is what it is in part because it meets the strictures of grammar and construction, and works within the rules to create originality. As far as I can see, this book contains no example of good writing. This writer labors up hillocks as if she's scaling Everest, and clearly expects commensurate admiration. As far as structure goes, there's nothing wrong in general with stories that, like these, rely more on atmosphere than on plot. But whatever the author is trying to say about friendship, aging, and habit, it's too meager a reward for struggling through vague, drifting, now-you-see-it-now-you-don't plotlines, sentences beginning with "know" and plain shoddy writing.
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