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"The Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing" by Lydia Peelle

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I'm going against my policy here, and reviewing a book which I did not finish. The short stories in this collection share a good many qualities, for better and for worse. They all show that Ms. Peelle can draw a scene and a character with high skill. Her language is economical and slanted at just the right pitch. This group displays the author's skills in this area.

However, her theme of extreme existential angst runs through all the stories, too. The author gives each hero (of the pieces I read) a tiny ultimate glimpse of escape, but that was quite uniform through all the stories, too. When I started the eponymous piece, and the hero was another just waiting for his life, or the world, or both, to end cataclysmically, while he is all alone and miserable, I gave up. It was too much of the same thing, over which I didn't need to dawdle.
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