You Must Be This Happy to Enter by Elizabeth Crane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I kept hearing Alison Brie’s character on Community, Annie, as I read the stories in this book. There is this purposeful superficial quality to the tone of voice in the writing — a wide-eyed dreamy “detachedness” –that belies the heavier, darker observations the narrators in these stories seem to make unconsciously. It would be unbearable after a few stories, if there weren’t a fantastic, sci-fi, Twilight-Zoney vibe thrown into the mix. In the story, “The Glistening Head of Ricky Ricardo Begs Further Experimentation”, a women learns she can pluck characters out of her TV and interact with them. The drawback is that they are the same 9-inch height they are on her television. In the story before that, “Betty the Zombie”, a woman who is bitten and turned into a zombie earns a spot on a popular reality show and competes to win by having revelations and breakthroughs. My favorite story in the book is “Donovan’s Closet”. In it a woman becomes obsessed with the lemony smell of her new boyfriend’s closet. It’s not as fantastic and Twilight-Zoney as the others but it is just as clever in representing addiction and obsession.
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