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Each of the 10 neatly linked short stories in this collection is named after a vice or virtue. Loyalty, Charity, Sloth, Gluttony, Vanity--they're all here, although sometimes the title seems opaque. The stories are mostly about nice people trying to get along in unexpected circumstances, mostly in Minneapolis. A troubled ex-wife lands at the home of her former husband's new family and they reluctantly welcome her. An idealistic father learns that his son's girlfriend got an abortion without his knowledge, then finds himself confronted by her religious parents. A modest architect named Benny falls for a possibly suicidal comedy club performer (and gets whacked in the legs in another story and holds hands with a dying buddy in yet another). And where did Alfred Hitchcock come from?
It's often hard to listen to short stories, because as soon as you get to know the characters, the story ends and there are new ones to follow. I liked this book in part because characters you've gotten to know pop up in later stories. But mostly I liked it because it was well written and thoughtful with sympathetic characters in weird--sometimes very weird--situations.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
loved it and it helped to read along with a hard copy of that book.