Quality Snacks (Made in Michigan Writers Series)
In Quality Snacks, a book of short stories, author Andy Mozina shows a good command of the English language: at unexpected times a clever turn of phrase or subtle reference is very enjoyable to find. There is even a twist or two. Grammatically it is written well, but I am not enamored of what the stories are about. One story is of a slimy lawyer who can only relate to his life through dogs he has known; whether that be his marriage, his family or his clients, only the dogs have enough life in his telling to warrant space in his memory. There is a story of an angst-ridden adolescent trying to figure out what it means to be a man, and a story of two grown men attempting to stop a suicidal nephew. There are others. The problem is that the characters are so inwardly focused, so devoid of any redeeming thought and so shallow that I simply did not care about the story or their plight. Short stories can be fun because of the rapid character development the author has to achieve, but these characters are flat, gray and egocentric. Quality Snacks is more like cheap, stale, week old bread.
Wayne State University Press