Vertigo by Joanna Walsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was not unsettled or unnerved by these stories, so it is tempting to rate them lower because they did not fulfill what was promised in the blurb and title. But what I really liked is how adeptly Walsh captures the ways people really are when they interact.
A few examples:
"He is not keen to relax. He is keen to get on. He is already late for his next stage of relaxation, for the beach, where we have an appointment to meet with some friends of his at a strict hour. He is worrying that we will be late, that they will be anxious, that they, that he, will not be able to relax. He takes out his phone to check the time. We must be on time for the deckchair, the towel."
-from Vagues, or as I refer to it, the Oyster Restaurant story
"Some women take power in a country by souveniring." - from Vertigo
"At the end of the jetty, on my side of the estuary, a band is playing. Only children are dancing. The adults stare at the band as though music is something they had forgotten. It must be dispiriting to perform like this, afternoon after afternoon. One man nods the tune to his partner. She fails to pick it up. There are stalls selling snacks, and other things, but no urgency in the queue for anything. Everyone has enough money, more than enough money for food, and no one is hungry."
So basically I felt the stories showed great insight but there is something that makes them fade quickly from my mind.
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