I loved Eileen and I loved this collection but it’s not going to be for everyone. The stories all – with the possible exception of the last one which is tonally very different – deal with similar themes and fascinations. Social awkwardness, being the outsider, an obsessive interest in the human body (a couple of stories make a great deal of oily pimples). It’s all very visceral and sweaty and horribly intimate. It’s makes for uneasy reading. But I loved every word. Loved how the stories got under my skin (which is a cliche but apt when talking about these pieces). There’s no gore or overt violence just the uncomfortableness of life. It’s some time since I’ve read these stories and I’m still deeply affected by one story (“The Beach Boy”) about a man whose wife suddenly, unexpectedly dies.
So not for everyone but highly recommended.