Tuesday, August 19, 2008
This is a story that ran over a few issues of Optic Nerve, I think, but it is really nice to see it collected all in one place. Tomine is an expert at creating stories about people with personal problems, and I think this is one of the deepest ones he has done. He likes telling stories about broken people by giving you sharp little shards of glass that you gradually put together as you read. By the end, you don't so much have a complete picture of the person, but rather the pattern of their damage, and a certain feeling that the damage cannot be repaired. I hope that Tomine keeps writing stories in long form like this one -- as much as I've liked his shorter stories, the length of this one helped make the characters more real than anything else he has done. Like Steinbeck says, "There are no great short books."