This was a lovely little book of short stories. I didn’t like Anagrams much and I generally don’t get very invested in short stories, but these were just right. Recommended.
I didn’t care about this book at all. Sorry.
I know I liked two other Carol Shields novels, but this one just annoyed me. I found the narrator obnoxious and the plot boring. Which is unfortunate because so much of the book is about how hard it is for a female author to appear credible and inspiring to our male-dominated society. (The female author character in the book spends a lot of time writing—but not having the guts to send—snarky letters to sexist male writers/editors.) It was a nice, peaceful, quick read. I just wish it hadn’t felt so mediocre.
(I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I feel bad.)
booksijustread said: Have you read The Gospel of Anarchy? I think you might like it…
No, I have not! Never heard of it, even. I’ll check it out!
This was one of those books I had on my “to read” list for reasons I can’t remember. I know I read Jeff Sharlet’s The Family a couple years ago after hearing his interview on Fresh Air, and somehow I thought Sweet Heaven When I Die was something like Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven. Nope. Not really. They do both have “heaven” in the title, and the Krakauer one was about fundamentalist Mormons, and The Family was about a fundamentalist organization. I knew Sweet Heaven When I Die was about “faith” and “belief” and that’s about it.
Turns out it’s a series of essays, all of which are about faith or belief or religion or spirituality, yes, but not at all in any of the ways I’d come to expect as a consumer of American media. This is a quiet, human-centered book. No morals or conclusions are beaten into the reader. Enjoy each story on its own (the edgy punk rocker who is actually beholden to a mainstream media conglomerate, the young anarchist shot to death in Mexico, the New Age healer whose spiritual cleansing of high-end NYC real estate causes properties to sell immediately), and slowly the overarching themes will make themselves known.
Really everyone in this world is just trying to get by, just trying to find meaning and a purpose in life.