Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Review | The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven: A Novella and Stories by Rick Moody

Kindle Edition
November 10, 2015

The collection is composed of eleven stories portraying life in different voices, styles, and lucidity. It was previously printed in 1995, although, most of the stories first appeared in some literary magazines across the web.

Among the stories, The Grid got my attention. The intricate connection of people through the simple act of the first kiss, amidst robbery, heartbreak, separation, and change, is an idea worthy of exploration.

I must hand it to Rick Moody for braving wordplay and breaking the rules of writing. Each story is a risky step beyond reality. However, it felt too contrived, as if the stories were written detached from any emotion. He took the time to take something profound and muddled it up deliberately. I said this because every now and then a beautiful passage bobs to the surface, like:
There was a pattern to loss, I knew, as there was a pattern in fractals, a there was a pattern to the way city planners designed public spaces, as there was a pattern to the orbit of heavenly bodies, to the distribution of stars rushing outwards from a first infinitely dense singularity, there was a pattern to loss. Losses came in threes. Losses were inexplicable. Losses could be contained and controlled in the elegance of equations.
This detachment also mired the much-needed depth of characters. Normally, I am intrigued by unattractive, anti-hero characters leading a story. Here, it was a stretch to empathize with any of them.

THE RING OF BRIGHTEST ANGELS AROUND HEAVEN is mind-provoking, but a disjointed collection that, even with the risk-taking and bursts of unexpected quotes, struggles to emerge altogether.

Book details:
Title: The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven: A Novella and Stories
Author: Rick Moody
Publication: November 10, 2015; Open Road Media
Genre: Fiction, Short Stories
Rating: êê

*Thank you Open Road Integrated Media for granting me access to this book in exchange for this honest review.


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