By Ian MacAllen on Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 9:22 pm
The regular reading series at Pete’s Candy Store opened with Justin Torres who has been making the rounds (he read at NYU two days earlier and elsewhere, I’m sure). The reading tour coincides with the release of Torres’s debut novel, We the Animals. Given that the book had literally just been release, I took the time to read through it before the event.
The opening chapters struck me as independent short stories artificially congealed into a novel with the stroke of a ball peen hammer. Several times I stopped reading to confirm and then reconfirm that this book was actually in fact marketed as a novel and not just a story collection. But as the narrative progresses, the detachment of each story begins to pull together into a coherent plot rather than merely an episodic assemblage edited for commercial purposes. Still, the final twists at the end seem somewhat artificial and lack the kind of foreshadowing to properly prepare readers.
Torres’s performance at the reading was solid, though not exceptional, and he tended towards that long, monotone cadence so common with young readers where the the final syllable of every sentence is drawn out as if for dramatic effect. It is the kind of performance that requires diligence on the part of the audience.
Pete’s Candy Store
Share the link!
Comments are closed, but you can still write a letter to the editor
We've turned comments off for older articles. But you can still comment by sending a letter to the editor. Letters will be considered for publication on the English Kills Review Tumblr.
Letters should preferably be at least 150 words, refer to specific article, and include the writer's name. All letters to the editor should include "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line and be sent to:
For essays and full length articles, please see our submission guidelines.