I tried to think of a catchy title for this post, but that fish kept staring me in the eye, and daring me to come up with something better than the author. So yes, this time, the fish won. I almost want to say that this book defies explanation, but I think the praise I mean there might be misconstrued. It is possibly one of the most bizarre books I’ve read in quite a while, but honestly, it was terrific. I hate to just regurgitate the summary plot from the publisher, but read it on Goodreads or Amazon and you will have an idea of what I mean. Or maybe, you will be even more confused. The description is a work of art in itself.
Like Margaret Atwood, Nutting is able to put us in the most absurd circumstances, and somehow make them feel normal and right. Most of the stories are so obviously in the future, and others, well, they could have happened this week. They are often hilarious, darkly depressing, and cynical in a wink, wink, nudge, nudge kind of way. After one woman conducts an affair with her garden gnome, I admit, I did feel a teensy bit more average than usual… A few stories in, I began to think of it as a “What Color is My Parachute” career book on acid. What I found most inspiring about it was that, for the most part, this collection of stories will make whatever you do to earn a living a piece of cake by comparison.