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Chase Us: Stories (2014)

by Sean Ennis(Favorite Author)
4.05 of 5 Votes: 5
0544263006 (ISBN13: 9780544263000)
New Harvest
review 1: While all of the stories in Ennis' collection are imaginative and entertaining, it was the 'adulthood' stories in the latter half of the book that stood out best for me. The first handful of stories were about younger men, with a younger narrator, and this younger narrator was often insightful, and the events of the stories, at times, were bizarre and fantastical. I liked them well enough. The stories had common characters throughout the collection, too. His best friend Clip. His sister Lovely. Etc. This created a familiar place for the reader. But there was something more attractive about the stories when the narrator is older--just out of college, or married with children. Perhaps because I'm older myself? Married. With children. Even then Ennis' stories share elements o... moref the fantastical--such as a young girl who hits a man in the face with her baseball bat during a t-ball game and then immediately gets struck by lightning, or when the narrator's sister accuses her husband of being a werewolf--but the narrator in these stories is more wise, dark, and often scathing with his profound insight. I'm hoping to see more of Sean Ennis.
review 2: Sean Ennis's 'Chase Us' is like a funfair hall of mirrors - each story features characters with the same names living in the same Philadelphia suburb, but in each story the characters or their relationships are slightly skewed, each offering a distorted reflection of what has come before. So in one story the narrator's parents might be dead but then alive again in the next (chronologically later) tale; a character called Roger is first introduced as the older boyfriend of the narrator's sister, then he's the narrator's nemesis, then a friend of the same age, a feral younger boy met in a park, eventually becoming the son of one of the other kids (now grown up) in the book. Two different origins are offered up for a dog called 'King Kong', whilst a girl called Janet briefly becomes Korean, and there is an endless cast of 'Julie's who eventually turn up together as a sisterhood of Julies. Whether all this is a comment on the way memory and nostalgia function, the general unpredictability of the world, or if the stories each exist in parallel universes is unclear but it is a fascinating - and increasingly exciting - approach to character and storytelling. But this isn't just about games and narrative trickery - these are solid, emotionally honest stories about adolescence and about growing up and taking responsibility. It is an impressive debut and I look forward to seeing what Ennis does next. less
Reviews (see all)
Stellar. I picked it up this afternoon and did not put it down until it was finished.
Clever, surprising and surprisingly touching short stories.
I really just didn't "get" these stories at all.
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