Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: "Spoiled" by Caitlin Macy

While not as bad or as insulting as Nathan Englander’s collection of short stories, Spoiled by Caitlin Macy was just boring with very few of the stories resonating with me, and with times where I found myself reading words on the page without any notion of processing what I have read to build what would resemble a plot with characters I liked. I knew very little of Caitlin Macy, and picked up her book at Borders for a cheap price based on a few blurbs about her writing and the kinds of stories she wrote, which really interested me. They seemed to have a kind of dark side to them, which usually spells success for me in the world of a short story. I don’t regret purchasing this book, because I do want to see what she can do within the structure of a novel (she has published one, The Fundamentals of Play, which I ordered not too long ago). She may do more in the long form than she did with these utterly forgettable stories. Spoiled is the right word, because they focus on upper class society in the East, and try to expose the dark side that everyone now no exists. It is earth that has been treaded before, but you can always bring something fresh to old ideas, especially if they are as ripe as the ideas familial unrest and skeletons in closets. But here, Macy’s stories fall flat, and rarely work beyond the simple situations she puts forth. Not one of these stories stood out to me, and wanted to get out the boring, insular world this book offered as quickly as possible, and move on to new possibilities. I may be missing something, but I am smart enough to know when a book is simply a dime a dozen like this one. Read it if you want, but if you ask me, I would not recommend it.
Rating: 3/5

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