2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
October 16, 2006
While a novel is like a symphony where all the various pieces are part of one whole, a collection of short stories is more like an album of popular music where each selection stands apart from the rest. The biggest problem of "
Each story in "
The first stories are interesting, especially the title track which features a petty criminal named Earl taking his daughter and waitress girlfriend across the country to evade the law for writing a bad check. Over time, though, the formula is repeated so many times that it loses any appeal and the stories become predictable and dull. And all of these stories bear a striking similarity to Ford's novel "Wildlife" which also takes place in
The stories all have similar narration as well, all sounding as if they were written by someone with only a 4th grade education and featuring Ford's typical clunky dialogue. The dialogue is especially bad in "Children" where an Indian boy and his friend entertain his father's mistress. (This I suppose was the most unique of the stories.)
All of the stories are similarly dreary, which reflects real life, but I couldn't help wishing for something to brighten the somber mood a little. None of this is to say "
That is all.