Chroma: Stories

Frederick Barthelme, Author Simon & Schuster $15.45 (173p) ISBN 978-0-671-54255-9
Most of these 15 short stories tell of middle-class people living ordinary lives. They suffer from such minor ailments as insomnia or contact lens problems. Their eccentricities are minuscule, their affairs half-hearted. They live in similar homes with tiny yards or stay in motels. Spare time is for watching TV or driving to the mall. In one of the most animated and appealing stories, ""Driver,'' a TV show about automobiles so affects the protagonist that he first weeps, then trades in the family car for a customized Lincoln and drivesto the mall. Barthelme (Moon Deluxe writes about people who barely skim the surfaces of their emotions. Individually the stories are well written and interesting. As a collection, there is a numbing sameness in the characters' flat emotional responses, making it seem that they could be moved into each other's stories as easily as their portable barbecues could be moved into their neighbors' yards. (April 23)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-0-14-010753-1
Paperback - 173 pages - 978-0-8021-3461-5
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