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If you like literary short stories, this is a well-crafted collection. Le does an impressive job of getting inside the minds of his diverse characters -- a teenage hitman in Colombia, a young girl in World War II Japan, a 30something American woman visiting a friend in Tehran -- and making the realities they live in feel convincing. The pieces drew me in more through the moment-to-moment evocativeness of the language than the plots or the characters, and Le's efforts to be lyrical sometimes felt a little forced, but, for the most part, he writes with impressive maturity for an author so young. The pieces touch on themes like loneliness, obligation, mortality, and the sacrifices that people make that end up setting them apart from others.
I recommend The Boat in its audiobook form: short stories like these are meant for being read aloud, and each voice actor does a fine job, his or her accent and intonation fitting the location and mood of the piece perfectly. I look forward to experiencing Le's first novel, if he writes one -- he has an undeniable talent for viewpoint and texture.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
guess I am not a short story listener. I wish they'd put a longer break at the end of the story.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful