This is a great collection of short stories: varied and interesting. All of them have a European flavor; some are more exotic than the rest. Each one is beautifully written; a couple of the stories come off as poetic. The indelible images painted are rich in context and beauty. Bravo, Deborah Levy.
To give you a flavor of what’s included, the title-bearing short story involves a man seeking a name for his company’s vodka. A woman is involved who is fascinated by his hunched/humped back. The man wonders if someone could love him despite the anomaly that he usually tries to hide.
Other stand-out stories include a dreamed infidelity that breaks into reality and a sister seeking the socially approved love attractors, be it ice cube shaped hearts or dyed hair. Every story comes together to give a unique flavor, yet each hits a unified lovely pitch.
Some of the more memorable quotes (for me, anyway) are: “kissing you is like new paint and old pain,” and, “I have an incredible facility to wade through human shame with no shoes on.” I know they don’t mean much out of context, but these quotes still show off the uniqueness of the writing.
If you are looking for some short stories that are well written and tell interesting tales, then this is a collection for you. Well done.
Thanks to Bloomsbury for providing me with a digital review copy of this book for review.
This book comes out today. You can see its preview and the soon to be other reviews on Amazon, here: Black Vodka: Ten Stories