Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-06-03
- Reviewer: Staff
Angel’s second book of short stories, like her first (The History of Vegas), features young men with bleak futures, too immersed in surviving hardships from day to day to ever move beyond them. Whether it’s a character picking up a woman 26 hours after his mother’s death, or someone hanging out with a friend growing an Afghani pot hybrid called “Scarlet Pussy,” or a boyfriend running away with his pregnant girlfriend, the hapless lives Angel depicts are filled with cars, beer, casual sex, and little else. Senseless violence toward animals forms a recurring motif in the stories. The writing is intense and visceral, but the characters are unlikeable; they are passive when it comes to anything other than momentary gratification and refuse to break out of familial histories of self-defeat. Read separately, the stories could be poignant. Collected, they become repetitive and frustrating. The reader hopes each story will reveal something new, different, or hopeful, but the almost interchangeable characters just spin in Angel’s grim, albeit well-rendered, vortices. Agent: Danielle Svetcov, Levine Greenberg Agency. (July)