My dad once said to me, "You give a lot of books three stars." I do.
I wasn't really impressed with this collection of short stories.
Vampires in the Lemon Grove: This was one of the stories I sort of liked. Interesting premise.
Reeling for the Emipre: This seems to be the favorite of a lot of people, but I couldn't get through it. Nothing grabbed me about it. I found the descriptions grotesque and then there's that whole white author writing characters of color thing that I'm not really into.
The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach, 1979: I also quit this story. I found the main character really unlikeable.
Proving Up: I thought this was the best story in the collection (except for the ending). That's probably because until the ending it's a pretty realistic story. Then the dark ending killed my enthusiasm for it.
The Barn at the End of Our Term: I didn't care for the premise of this one (presidents reincarnated as horses) so I skipped most of it.
Dougbert Shackleton’s Rules for Antarctic Tailgating: This was another good one. It's entertaining, and I liked imagining all those optimists cheering for Team Krill. Only problem is the story doesn't go anywhere.
The New Veterans: I ended up skipping most of this story since I'm not into reading about people getting blown up. I liked the premise though and it seemed like the most complete story (beginning, middle, end).
The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis: I felt free to stop reading this story at the r-slur. There's something about a scarecrow and I don't really care.
In the end there were very few stories in this collection that kept me reading until the very end. I'm just not into Russell's particular aesthetic.