"A Model World"
Reading history and reviews
Finished on 10th June 2010I'm not an enormous fan of short story fiction - for me, it often seems to tend towards exaggerated characters or situations, and I frequently feel I fail to connect with the point (if any) that the author might be trying to make - but I was swayed by the wonderful cover, and by Chabon's name.
The stories are divided into two parts within the book. Those in the first part are all separate from each other, and I found them something of a mixed bag, and some - the opening story about a man at a relative's wedding, and another about a washed-up baseball player attending the funeral of a distant friend - left me a bit cold. However these were outweighed by the ones I really enjoyed, especially "Millionaires" (which tells the story of two friends falling out over a woman) and another (the name of which I've forgotten) about two university friends attending the dinner of a professor. In both cases the stories are a little longer and seem to have more space to breathe, and are full of whimsical details.
The stories in the second part of the book are a loosely connected episodes about a boy growing up against the backdrop of his parents' divorce and remarriages, and I enjoyed this section as a whole - again because the stories seemed to have more space to develop.
After "A Model World" I'm still not convinced by short stories, but there were some here that were memorable and enjoyable enough for me to want to read again some time - which I'd call a small victory for Chabon.