Fresh Complaint

“Fresh Complaint”, “Baster” and “Timeshare” are among some of the best fiction I’ve read from Eugenides, including his award winning books. The other stories in this collection are fantastic as well. I had read a few of these stories earlier, in the New Yorker and elsewhere. Some of his earlier stories, like “Airmail”, were new to me. Although I enjoyed reading these stories, I much prefer Eugenides in longer book form. His books display his skills with both plot and character while these short stories are mostly good for some interesting characterization and somewhat short commentary on institutions like family and law or concepts like religion and the balance between ambition and fulfillment.

Eugenides is an adept commentator on these topics, but his best characteristic is the quality of his writing. In interviews, he often talks about how much he committed to words and sentences in the early part of his career. This is a skill that has paid off for him in spades. Every sentence and paragraph is a pleasure to read.

Here’s to waiting another 6-10 years before reading more of his work.