Customer Reviews for

Where the God of Love Hangs Out

Average Rating 3
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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    Lacks the soul and luster of Bloom's previous short story collections

    Amy Bloom is a gifted storyteller, a master of her craft, and a writer of what I call approachable and readable short stories. Her prose is refreshing because it's not as experimental or edgy as many other contemporary short story writers. Her previous collection Come to Me ranks as one of the best I've ever read. Her writing is lush, evocative and melodic, like a novel that has been condensed, with enticing and unforgettable characters. Her stories are soulful, brim with color and affection, toasty, like sitting fireside with a close friend who breaks all the rules, affairs, unorthodox family and sexual relationships, behavior on the fringe, but who is still very human. Bloom's latest collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out, is well written, tight, her craft is evident, but the stories lack the magic, luster and brilliance of her previous collections. They're not as raw or revelatory, the voice is not as immediate; the characters don't stay with you long after you've turned the page. The two best stories I found in the collection are Your Borders, Your Rivers, Your Tiny Villages about middle-aged friends who become lovers and then marry to dire consequences, and Sleepwalking about a mother who becomes intimate with her stepson, and the familial dynamic that ensues. The first four stories are linked stories about the previously mentioned couple William and Clare, and Sleepwalking is accompanied by three other linked stories, following the mother Julia and her stepson Lionel throughout the years Bloom's new story collection was highly praised and reviewed by critics, but for me, a far cry from her signature style.

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