Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings

Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings
Publisher: Vandalia Press
Publish Date:  October 1, 2011
ISBN: 978-1935978084
Pages: 168

This is a collection of short stories about a poor teen growing up in a dysfunctional family in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1970's.

At first I was confused as the stories seem disjointed.  Once I realized that they are instances frozen in time, it made more sense.  They each showed an aspect of the main characters life.  There is quite a bit of swearing and sexual situations - heterosexual and homosexual.  The characters were interesting, but I really didn't find any of them likable.  I think that if they were all joined together in a 'regular story', I would have liked them better.

The writing was the best part of the stories, Mr. Cummings style is bleak but beautiful.  His imagery is amazing.  I think that I'll look for other things by him to see how I like them.

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