Book Twenty: No One Belongs Here More Than You

No One Belongs Here More Than You, Miranda July

A long time ago--probably sometime between early high school and just-after-college--I used to read a lot of short stories. In fact, it was pretty much all I read for quite a while. I couldn't really remember why I stopped reading so many short stories until I picked this book up and then I remembered... SHORT STORIES ARE DEPRESSING AS FUCK! Okay, so this is totally unfair for all those wonderful short stories out there that are also funny and wonderful and true (Lorrie Moore, I'm totally looking at you), but this collection really encapsulates all that is wrong with contemporary short stories. (Parenthetical about the previous parenthetical: I read somewhere that someone compared Miranda July to Lorrie Moore, which made me want to cry into the delicious beer I am drinking, thereby ruining the beer, and thereby making me curse Miranda July for both ruining my beer and not even coming close to holding a candle to Lorrie Moore.)

I am probably being a little hard on this little book. There were a handful of moments in these stories that kind of got me, one thing that made me laugh a little out loud, and a few things that made my insides kind of squirm up. I liked the story "Something That Needs Nothing" quite a bit. But I found most of the characters totally unrelatable and generally very lonely and sad. And not lonely and sad in a good way, but lonely in sad in a way that makes you think that were kind of asking for it. Or that they weren't, perhaps, lonely and sad in a real way. Because realness is what it's all about.

Postscript: After posting this, I moseyed on over to the website for the book, and was 1000 times more delighted by the website than I was by the book. If you only have time for one activity--reading the book or visiting the webite--might I recommend the website? It is actually quite funny and silly in the way the book promised to be but never delivered on. So there you go.


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