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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Currently reading

Visible Empire
Hannah Pittard
The Deptford Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Life on Mars
Jennifer Brown
The Family Under the Bridge
Natalie Savage Carlson


Drown - Junot Díaz Here is a collection of interconnected short stories that is gorgeous. The language is lush. The settings are vibrant. The characters are enthralling. Each story is this collection is brought to life with a barrage of delicately chosen words. Junot Díaz's Drown is a tense, yet lyrical collection which forces a reader pause from time to time in admiration.The best stories in this collection are the first two and the last three. This worked great for this book as it pulled me in quickly and left me satisfied at its conclusion.Drown is a wonderful debut. Unfortunately, this makes its brevity all the more disappointing. For all their beauty and intrigue, I was unable to fall in love with any character. Every time I felt I began to feel rooted in one place, I was ripped away and taken five years in the future to another location. Perhaps this is partially the author's intent--to give the reader a taste of these character's hectic lives. But in the end, I know, the richness of the language will stick with me longer than any of these stories will.Having a taste here of what Díaz is capable of, I am eager to see what he would do with a more focused story. Fortunately, I just acquired a copy of his Pulitzer-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.