Thursday, September 10, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer

My book group chose a short story collection for our next book: Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer. Some of her stories have appeared in The New Yorker and Harpers and have won awards, so this young writer is well-respected in the genre. And her writing is distinctive and edgy, with angsty characters in situations fraught with emotional and sometimes physical peril. If you’re a fan of short stories, this is a collection worth reading.

However, I think I’m just not much of a short story fan. Rather than depressing slices of life, I like more meat on the bones of a plot and time for characters to grow and develop. This is beautifully written, but in the end, that isn’t enough for me. There’s too much angst without resolution. The common theme seems to be things are not going to get better for any of the characters no matter what, and that’s not great incentive to read on.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh. I'm so with you on this. I feel like I just get into the characters or setting and then I'm left hanging. There have been exceptions. I usually love Stephen King short stories. But mostly I totally agree. I need to sink my teeth into a story.