Hits and Misses

Simon Rich. Little, Brown, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-0-316-46889-3
The latest collection from Rich (Spoiled Brats) lives up to its name, gathering 18 tales of varying quality that too often fail to linger beyond their brief page counts. A David vs. Goliath theme appears in several plot lines: in “The Baby,” a struggling writer and father-to-be is in a race against time to complete his historical novel when he discovers his unborn son is hard at work on a similar book of his own; “Riding Solo: The Oatsy Story” tells the story of Paul Revere’s famous ride from the perspective of his horse, who is left behind after Revere gains celebrity; and “Upward Mobility” pits a personal assistant against his cruel boss for the last available ticket into Heaven. “Adolf Hitler: The GQ Profile” is a smart and darkly humorous skewering of celebrity worship. “Hands,” one of the longest and best stories of the bunch, pokes fun at religion to chronicle a competitive monk who decides to elevate his martyrdom over his brethren by cutting off his hands. When Rich slows down, his stories can hold emotional resonance, but one-joke, pithy entries such as “Tom Hanks Stories” and “Physician’s Lounge, April 1st” are forgettable. The collection has a punchline-over-prose feeling that’s hard to shake. (July)
Reviewed on: 09/24/2018
Release date: 07/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-316-46888-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-7275-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-7278-6
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