Find us on facebook

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"When the Nines Roll Over", the unmagnificent lives of adults

When the Nines Roll Over and Other Stories- David Benioff

A very nice surprise. I had heard/read some very positive reviews of David Benioff's books, and finally got my hands over "When the Nines Roll Over" a collection of eight short stories  that overall results in a very cohesive and solid book, with a very peculiar strength and a feeling of proximity, despite the eclectic range of experiences/situations/context in which their stories take place.

If there's a common link between the eight tales I would say is the "emotional point of no return" that all characters are facing. Benioff's talent for dissecting the turmoil in the existence of their characters in very different situations puzzles me. Whether is using humour or a devastating drama, whether life is mundane or even pathetic or thrilling and adventurous, discovery, loss and that life-revealing moment are just around the corner.

I have also read on another review that "When the Nines Roll Over" summarizes the experiences that characterize modern adult life. Well, I consider myself and adult and I haven't, and don't expect (please) to experience anything remotely similar to what the young Russian soldier Leksi suffers on "The Devil Comes to Orekhovo", one of the most tense and shocking stories of the lot. "Zoantropy" is not your "average story" either, lions in New York are not that usual I think. But despite the peculiar context of several stories, what matters (and in that sense I agree with the aforementioned review) are the feelings and behaviours of the main characters: anger, disarray, love, betrayal, all sort of very recognisable human feelings. As my beloved The National would say, Benioff writes about the "uninnocent elegant falls into the unmagnificient lives of adults". And he does it with brilliance.

The aforementioned two, "The Barefoot Girl in Clover", "Merde for Luck", and the title story "When the Nines Roll Over" are excellent tales. Overall, there's not a single bad story on this collection. I really enjoyed Benioff's style, pretty straightforward without being simplistic, very natural and credible, even despite the "traumatic" situations his characters are suffering. Looking forward to reading more of this author, in particular "The 25th Hour" -an extraordinary film by the way-. Really recommendable.

SCORE: 7,5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment