Friday, January 31, 2014

Books: Nine Inches. Short Stories by Tom Perrotta

Perrotta knows his suburbs. The stories in this collection sound like studies for a TV series - and he is making one based on another of his books "Leftovers". He has found his genre and this is not a condescending statement. BTW, Election, based on Perrotta's novel is one of Alexander Payne's best films.
Suburban life according to Perrotta is deeply disappointing. His characters are under-performers who struggle to regain their life after a single faux pas; their stories - light versions of "after the Fall"...His male characters are infantile, his female characters -- bitches with hearts of gold.
The book jacket quotes a critic's definition of Perrotta as the "Suburban Steinbeck". This is an oxymoron! He is nothing like Steinbeck and neither is he a Chekhov - lacks Chekhov's contempt for human pettiness...

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