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A Permanent Member Of The Family (2013)

by Russell Banks(Favorite Author)
3.65 of 5 Votes: 5
0061857653 (ISBN13: 9780061857652)
review 1: First Banks book I've read and while it sounds cavalier, I can't quite get a grasp - just judging by these stories - why he's considered such an iconic author. His greatest strength here seems to be compression; there's no unnecessary fluff. It's impressively lean work, with nothing wasted. But beyond that, sheesh. Overly sentimental, downright corny dialogue, and while the sentences retain that stolidity, there's almost no particular voice present. I feel like there's a lot of breathing room to take chances in short stories, and this collection is just... kind of there.
review 2: Russell Banks is a master. My favorite story was the title story, about a family split up by divorce, and the role the family dog plays in the aftermath. Very moving. Another good one
... more is about one of Banks's North Country characters, Connie, an ex-Marine, and what happens after he no longer has a job or means of support. The relationship between Connie and his sons reminded me of Nobody's Fool, which is by Richard Russo. I often mix up these two writers. Snowbirds is about a couple who moves to Florida where the husband almost immediately dies, leaving his widow, Jane, to cope. Instead of feeling bereft, she is liberated by his death. For my part, I found Transplant, about a man who receives a heart transplant and a request from the young widow of the donor to meet him, the least successful of the stories. In general, the stories are beautifully written and engrossing. less
Reviews (see all)
Great stories, but some were creepy. A good read. I especially liked the story called Blue.
First Half was great, Second half not so much.....
Short stories, many with dire consequences.
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