Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Flings by Justin Taylor

Title: Flings
Author: Justin Taylor
Genre: Short Story Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: August 19/2014
Adquired: Print ARC provided by Publisher
Goodreads: ADD

The acclaimed author of Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever and The Gospel of Anarchy makes his hardcover debut with a piercing collection of short fiction that illuminates our struggle to find love, comfort, and identity.

In a new suite of powerful and incisive stories, Justin Taylor captures the lives of men and women unmoored from their pasts and uncertain of their futures.

A man writes his girlfriend a Dear John letter, gets in his car, and just drives. A widowed insomniac is roused from malaise when an alligator appears in her backyard. A group of college friends try to stay close after graduation, but are drawn away from-and back toward-each other by the choices they make. A boy's friendship with a pair of identical twins undergoes a strange and tragic evolution over the course of adolescence. A promising academic and her fiancée attempt to finish their dissertations, but struggle with writer's block, a nasty secret, and their own expert knowledge of Freud.

From an East Village rooftop to a cabin in Tennessee, from the Florida suburbs to Hong Kong, Taylor covers a vast emotional and geographic landscape while ushering us into an abiding intimacy with his characters. Flings is a commanding work of fiction that captures the contemporary search for identity, connection, and a place to call home.


The only things I like short, or at least like them to feel that way, are my work shifts and lines. As a reader, I was never a fan of short stories, never felt like enough emotion or intent could be packed into a 3-10 page narrative. I know there are, in existence, so many fantastic short story works I need to experience, need to seek out and read. Flings by Justin Taylor was a good place for me to start, and just what I needed to kick start a love for shorter tales.

Flings is a compilation of short narratives, all revolving around, immersing within, and drawing out the very things that make us distinctly human-that allow us to build and destroy relationships. Appropriately entitled "Flings" because many of the stories involve people in romantic, or sexually complicated, relationships. In one story, a young boy is best friends with twin brothers, one of whom contracts cancer and passes away. We are left to wonder how deep the friendship ran, what unexplored questions the young boy had about his connection to one of the brothers-was it sexual? Truth be told, the majority of this book dealt with sex, and drugs. It was slightly off-putting, but entertaining to say the least.

Taylor's characters felt real, and displayed very real emotion. Not being used to the hurried time jumps in short stories, it was harder for me to truly enjoy any one specific tale, but as a whole, each one unfolded in a way that lent to the other. Taylor didn't stray too far off course from one story to the next, so, honestly, it felt like one huge setting, cut into snippets of everyone's lives. Taylor's writing was bold, and witty, and caught me completely off guard at times. The perfect piece to add to your reading pile if you're between books.

Recommended for Fans of: Short Stories, Romance, Contemporary.

CLICK HERE to read all about Justin Taylor on his Goodreads Author Page.

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Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to Harper for sending me a print ARC to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour

1 comment:

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