I almost didn’t read this because of the gross, manipulative movie by the same name. The reason I DID watch that movie is that that album by Low is one of my favorites. So this was a chance to reclaim that title back from that terrible movie.
This is a good collection of stories. I think the review that says this is like Julio Cortazar meets Shirley Jackson is definitely wrong. This is Shirley Jackson meets Argentina. These stories are weird and dark and sometimes, but not oftentimes wry. She’s more close to Ottessa Moshfegh than Cortazar. It’s weird but not abstract and detached.
The stories are normal sizes of stories, which I like, and they have a plot. So all that is good. This story collection reminds me how crazy Argentina is and how much we have to lose if we continue down the trend of destroying the social contract in our society. Corporatizing has destroyed countries like Argentina and so the would-be services just didn’t exist for ages. This was a deliberate act of neo-liberalism (the real one, not the fake Hillary one we keep hearing about). And its cause was fascism.
So these stories exist in this landscape, a violent underworld in a country that lacked a social contract (at least between its government and its people for two decades). I am being harsh on the regime that was in power, supported by the US and Nixon, so I am very well complicit in this too.
But this is a book that shows what these gaps in government allow for and create. Any society that actively allows for corruption and for a lack of structure has these kinds of stories.