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2 out of 4 stars
Review by Jesska6029
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The eight short stories that make up Texaners take readers into the lives of 8 different people living in Texas. At the center of each story are characters of different races and ethnic backgrounds, and each story gives readers momentary glimpses into the struggles each character faces.
This book was a bit difficult to read at times. Instead of having quotation marks around dialogue, the author uses dashes, which confused me greatly at times. It was really difficult to get comfortable with the odd dialogue. A lot of the sentences are convoluted and awkward. For example, “When the trailer-park matriarch leant down to proffer womanly anodyne to her blubbering snot-bedight kin, an ass crack as unblanketed as the Rio Grande Valley that separates Texas from Mexico broke free from her neon pink—hot, hyper hot pink—sweats” took me a couple tries to read through without confusion.
If you are someone who needs a resolution at the end of a book or story, then this collection of short stories is not for you. These stories only provide readers with small glimpses into the lives of 8 different characters. I did find the lack of resolution frustrating at first, but I appreciated it more when I realizes the point of the stories is only to provide an insight into small moments of the characters lives, not to provide resolutions.
It was a bit difficult to connect to any of the characters because their stories are so short, but I did enjoy Cindy’s narrative in “Chinese Spoons”, and I think the author captured the struggle of a family under certain restraints in “Oils”. However, it was extremely difficult to connect to anyone in “The Gulf” because the story was so short and a bit boring.
There are quite a few spelling and grammatical errors. For example the text reads, “good dead”, not “good deed” and “processor”, not “professor”. It would be a good idea to revise and edit this book if at all possible, so these errors aren’t there to distract readers.
I give Texaners: Eight Short Stories by T. F. Rhoden 2 out of 4 stars. Some of the stories in this collection are interesting, but the convoluted sentences and spelling errors keep me from giving this book a higher rating. I would recommend this book to readers who don’t mind stories without resolutions.
Texaners: Eight Short Stories
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gali wrote:Thank you for the insightful review. I prefer stories with resolutions, so I guess this book isn't for me.
Thanks for the kind words. It's definitely not for everyone!
-- 23 Nov 2015, 05:45 --
Rachaelamb1 wrote:I was hoping this would be a good book because I am a "Texaner" and we Texans definitely love to read about ourselves Judging from the example you gave of that confusing sentence, I do not think I would enjoy reading this book. Thanks for the review!
Haha, I think everyone feels that bit of pride when one's hometown or state is mentioned in literature! Thanks for the kind words!
Leon Durham wrote:Great review, Jesska6029! I'm glad you connected to at least one of the stories.
Thanks!! A couple of the stories are truly interesting!
Jesska6029 wrote: This book was a bit difficult to read at times. Instead of having quotation marks around dialogue, the author uses dashes, which confused me greatly at times. It was really difficult to get comfortable with the odd dialogue. A lot of the sentences are convoluted and awkward. For example, “When the trailer-park matriarch leant down to proffer womanly anodyne to her blubbering snot-bedight kin, an ass crack as unblanketed as the Rio Grande Valley that separates Texas from Mexico broke free from her neon pink—hot, hyper hot pink—sweats” took me a couple tries to read through without confusion. [/i]
It sounds like the writer was experimenting with the narrative or attempting to write what they thought was a higher level of literacy. I have no problem with unusual words, but if I need a dictionary to read a book, then that is too much.
Also, I enjoy stories without a definite ending. Ray Carver is one of my favorites and most of his stories have indefinite endings for the reader to decide what happens next.
I might give this book a shot, knowing what to expect.
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