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Brief Encounters With The Enemy: Fiction (2013)

by Said Sayrafiezadeh(Favorite Author)
3.65 of 5 Votes: 4
0812993586 (ISBN13: 9780812993585)
The Dial Press
review 1: Reading this book felt like reading the same story over and over again. Each main character was exactly the same, indistinguishable from story to story. Except for the last one (he had a deformity and a sliver of something good in his life), every character was a passionless working class male, dissatisfied with his lot in life, living in an America at war, and failing at love. I got very bored by the halfway point, and stayed that way.
review 2: For most of the book, I found the references to the war (primarily in the stories not about soldiers) heavy handed, distracting and not quite true feeling, but in the latter half I began to wonder if, perhaps, the author was making the point that the war should feel this present in our lives--something we mark time and
... more our lives against--but that many of us don't even pay much attention to it (especially at this point) and that's a problem. Maybe I'm speaking for myself too much here and maybe it's because I was young when the war in Iraq started, but I never felt it in the looming way these characters do, except maybe for the beginning. The author sort of uses the war to trap his characters and readers--in endless cycles of fraught decisions and interactions that echo from story to story in a series of déjà vu moments that quite honestly got boring--but again maybe that's the point. In high pressure situations, we do all seem to echo each other, to utter platitudes, and that case the author is being quite true to life. Having said all that, I found this collection hard to relate to at times and a bit of a chore to read, except for certain stories. less
Reviews (see all)
Said has a great essay about why he listens to Howard Stern in the New York Times, Oct 5, 2013
This grew on me. I really liked the linkages and common themes between the stories.
3.5 Didn't love all of the stories in here, but there were 2 good ones.
Baba booey to you all.
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