Book Report #4: Susan Perabo, Explaining Death to the Dog
This is a slim volume of mimetic short stories, one hundred and ninety pages. They are all quiet, meditative pieces about people in transition. Some of them--the title piece, and the first story, "Thick as Thieves," are exceptional. Some of the others are somewhat heavy-handed. Some are overly moralistic or predictable.
Her style is limpid, but I did find that the collection suffered overmuch from uniformity of tone. All of her narrators--male, female, young, and old--seem to have a similar held-breath quality, so even while there are superifical differences in character, most of them didn't emerge as different enough for me to have a real sense of them as people (There were a couple of exceptions.) . This is exacerbated by a reliance on first-person narrators.
But "Explaining Death to the Dog" alone, is, I think, worth the price of admission.
The collection is, overall, recommended.