“For a writer who talks big game,” adds Smith, “these stories show only modest talent.”
Boudinot employs the “kinds of sentences [that] wouldn’t make it out of an MFA workshop,” says Smith, “sentences that “pile up into a mound of blah….”
“Many of Boudinot’s premises are clichéd or sound like ‘an idea for a story,'” Smith finds. “[E]xample Premises from this book: What if one of the guys at work were actually a robot? What if my favorite band stayed at my parents’ house?”
Coming to the end of some of the better stories feels less like a literary event and more like a physical relief: Hoo-wee! I thought he was gonna fuck that one up! But in the not-so-good stories, he does embarrass himself.
Read the whole review of Ryan Boudinot’s The Octopus Rises, published by Fantagraphics.