Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett
My rating: 0 of 5 stars
If there was a “Jeff VanderMeer Book Club,” I think this would be one of the top ones on the list. Some of his recommendations are spot-on for me, but then there are books like Pond that leave me completely puzzled.
At its core, the book is 20 individual stories that could be taken as a cohesive-yet-fractured whole, and has a common setting to set itself in. As a piece of literature, the structure and format is unique and something I’m not recalling seeing elsewhere, but for me to really be wowed I need to really buy into the story being told, and it just didn’t work. The pieces were too short for me to be engaged for the most part, and the overall tale? Not all that compelling, either, to be fair.
I don’t know if it’s more the format or more the result here that took me out of the story, but it just didn’t work. I know some people enjoy literary for the sake of literary, so if you’re one of those people, this might be a hidden gem for you. Otherwise, though…
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