walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Among the Wonderful_, Stacy Carlson (kindle): Other People's Reviews

Around this time of the month, I'm frequently reviewing a book I Did Not Choose but read anyway, for a book group in Mayberry, NH (<- not its real name), where I used to live. This is a book the group will be discussing tomorrow, but it's also a book I picked. It's not the type of book I would ordinarily pick, but a woman I used to work with, and whom I have always had great affection for, is the author and I'd been meaning to read it, having bought it as soon I could. When I bought my mother-in-law a kindle and shared my account with her, I pointed her at this book to read, because I suspected it would be her kind of book, and she seems to have gotten all the way through to the end and told me she really enjoyed it.

The Sunday Book Review at the NYT reviewed this in 2011.


Andrea Thompson wasn't particularly kind, and internal evidence in the review suggests she didn't finish the book, nor pay all that much attention to what she did read. A quarter of the review is devoted to background not about the book in particular.

PW reviewed it, too, more favorably (if somewhat insipidly) and again seems to dramatically miss the point:


The WaPo reviewed it, along with the _Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb_:


And this review starts to get interesting; the reviewer has bothered to do a little spot checking and determined that Ana Swift is based on Anna Swan. But again with the insipidity:

"Carlson delves into the theme of metamorphosis as she recreates 1840s Manhattan as vividly as she portrays Grizzly Adams and Cornelia the Sewing Dog. While “Among the Wonderful” is the more fully realized work, both novels show that one’s humanity has nothing to do with size and that it’s the same world, no matter how far off the ground one’s view."

I'm sure the reviewers meant well, but I feel like we read different books. My review will follow in the next post (hopefully soon).
Tags: not-a-book-review
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