Book Review: Mexico by Josh Barkan

December 15, 2016

Mexico: Stories by Josh Barkan is a collection of fictional short stories, all taking place in Mexico. The collection was awarded runner up for the Juniper Prize for Fiction, 2014, t and runner up for the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, 2014.

  • 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hogarth
  • Language: English

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A collection of short stories are always difficult to write about because the stories range in interest and quality. Mexico: Stories by Josh Barkan is no exception, as the talented writer tell his tales.

The Mexico which Mr. Barkan depicts is violent, poor and hopeless, I don’t know why anyone would want to live there. The stories try to tell about slices of life in Mexico, but they all have a common theme of violence, drug lords and constant daily fear and uncertainty.

I’m not sure how realistic these stories are, truthfully, I hope never to find out. Many of the stories are written in first person which allows the reader to go into the protagonist’s head.

None of the stories, I thought, were especially memorable – but I’m not a big fan of short stories. There was also no overreaching arc which ties the stories together with the exception that they all take place in Mexico.

The stories seemed to be as if the author started writing a non-fiction narrative and then changed it midway, it worked some of the time, but other times it did not. The rating I gave is an overall average for the book, as I mentioned before, short stories collections are difficult to grade.

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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