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Posted October 11, 2013
Dean Goranites of the BookReviewersClub reviewed the book "Well" by Matthew McIntosh. This is the author's first book.
"Well" is similar to a series of short stories because it is written in a way where every new chapter consists of new characters and a new story plot. The story revolves around people going through tough times in their lives. They all live in in the same city of Federal Way, Washington and they all visit the same bar.
As an example, one story is about a mother who works for 18 hours a week, is an immigrant, and who spends a majority of her day in a fast food restaurant making chicken. Her daughter starts getting involved in drugs and hanging out with the wrong crowd. The daughter ends up becoming a prostitute who is unsure of what she is doing with her life and she spends a lot of time waiting for her mother to come home. After her mother takes too long one night, the daughter ends up walking to the local bar.
Overall, all the stories were bleak and arguably depressing, but all the characters had a chance at redemption. Dean didn't believe that many of the characters got that redemption, but there were a few brief instances where the characters fought off their circumstances in order to find a happy and successful life.
Dean said this book also helps a reader understand that no matter what we are doing in our life, we may never be completely satisfied if we don't have hope. However, we can still find a general satisfaction in life itself. He said that this book really impressed him and that's why he would recommend this to anybody who is not scared of something that could potentially bring them "into the darkness" while they read it.
All in all, Dean gave the book 5 stars.
Posted July 27, 2003
Well' is a hard-earned marvel, and Matt McIntosh is a nothing less than a prodigy. His book focuses on a tapestry of broken lives in Federal Way, Washington, outside of Seattle, drawn together by the common ailments of discontentment, disillusionment, and a yearning for some small redemption. The chapter (or story) 'Fishboy,' about a young man suffering from the break-up of his family, has a raw, wrenching power like something I've rarely encountered in contemporary fiction, somewhat like the stories in Denis Johnson's 'Jesus' Son,' but wholly Matt McIntosh's, wholly unique. His work has a kind of poetic integrity that signals a rare talent, a new voice.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.