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The Uninnocent: Stories by Bradford Morrow
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The Uninnocent: Stories

by Bradford Morrow

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book of short stories. They all hang on the darker side of human nature and are very captivating. At the top of my list for a good read. ( )
  angela.vaughn | Mar 9, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There is certainly nothing innocent about the characters in Morrow's stories. I'm not opposed to dark stories. I'm a huge mystery and crime fiction fan after all. However, the majority of Morrow's stories were too dark and depressing even for me. Many of his characters are beyond uninnocent and enter the realm of amoral and disturbed.

Although this was my overall impression of The Uninnocent, there were stories that I found less objectionable and even enjoyed. "Amazing Grace" was an interesting story about the truth that is revealed when a blind man regains his sight. "The Enigma of Grover's Mill" cleverly integrates Orson Welles' War of the Worlds into the story and the psyche of his main character. Finally, "Ellie's Idea" is a humorous look at one selfish woman's efforts to make amends and tell the truth.

If you decide to read The Uninnocent, be prepared for dark stories with sometimes disturbing themes. Morrow is actually a good writer...if you can stand to have his characters inhabiting your head.

http://iubookgirl.blogspot.com/2012/01/review-uninnocent.html ( )
1 vote iubookgirl | Jan 17, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
http://wineandabook.com/2012/01/04/review-the-uninnocent-by-bradford-morrow/

I have a confession: I didn't exactly finish this story collection. Usually, I have a policy of not reviewing things I haven't finished. But since it was my fault I didn't get finished (I completely forgot that my ebook would expire after 2 months!!) and since this was a strong collection of short stories, I'll talk about the ones I did read.

Strong start: The Hoarder
The story's main character is obsessed with collecting things, but his penchant for acquisition takes a dark turn when he sets his sights on his brother's girlfriend. Quiet and deliberate, this story moves with a dull weight.

My favorite: The Uninnocent
This one stuck with me. Two children, in desperate need of a good psychologist, "deal" with the death of their brother by looking for messages sent by him from beyond, and carry out what they interpret as his instructions with disturbing results. Poor Butter.

Fell flat: Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace didn't work for me. It just seemed a bit too easy in terms of the choices Morrow made. Man loses sight. Man becomes a motivational speaker. Man miraculously regains sight only to learn he may have been better off left in the dark about what his family had been up to behind his back (pun absolutely intended). Overly reliant on religious crutches, at times cliche...I felt like I always knew exactly what was going to happen next. This story is actually why I didn't finish the book. Morrow is so touted as a master of American noir, and when I read this genre, I prefer mine to be a balance of the quiet/familiar with the disturbing/unexpected.

Rubric rating: 6. I definitely want to finish this collection. ( )
  jaclyn_michelle | Jan 4, 2012 |
Bradford Morrow's The Uninnocent is a collection of short stories, each with a theme of various sins, madness, obsessions and other transgressions, or loss. Beautifully written, the darkness in the stories gently takes root and flowers in subtly hideous and frightening ways - the soothing hiss of a serpent's voice - all the more effective because of the gentle language, while the melancholic notes of the more poignant tales draw upon memories of living, of joy and grief, to shape the tales. (Please note: when I describe these as hideous and frightening, I mean something more in line with Henry James' Turn of the Screw; psychological rather than thriller.)

This was not a quick read for me, the stories are beautifully and richly written, giving the kind of reading experience that you have to allow to sink in slowly. You could read this quickly, but end up with a sense of reading fatigue; your brain bloated with all the stories. So I'm not sure I would recommend this to a casual reader for beach or travel reading, but I would recommend it to people who enjoy the experiences of reading the literary equivalent of after-dinner dessert wine.

4.5 or 5 stars. If you've enjoyed Joyce Carol Oates' Southern Gothic stories, you'll probably enjoy these, though I'd relabel them as Northeastern Gothic, for, if there is such a thing, this would be it.

Review copy supplied by the publisher as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.
(apologies for the double post; my review wasn't registering properly.) ( )
1 vote DoskoiPanda | Dec 13, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Bradford Morrow's The Uninnocent is a collection of short stories, each with a theme of various sins, madness, obsessions and other transgressions, or loss. Beautifully written, the darkness in the stories gently takes root and flowers in subtly hideous and frightening ways - the soothing hiss of a serpent's voice - all the more effective because of the gentle language, while the melancholic notes of the more poignant tales draw upon memories of living, of joy and grief, to shape the tales. (Please note: when I describe these as hideous and frightening, I mean something more in line with Henry James' Turn of the Screw; psychological rather than thriller.)

This was not a quick read for me, the stories are beautifully and richly written, giving the kind of reading experience that you have to allow to sink in slowly. You could read this quickly, but end up with a sense of reading fatigue; your brain bloated with all the stories. So I'm not sure I would recommend this to a casual reader for beach or travel reading, but I would recommend it to people who enjoy the experiences of reading the literary equivalent of after-dinner dessert wine.

4.5 or 5 stars. If you've enjoyed Joyce Carol Oates' Southern Gothic stories, you'll probably enjoy these, though I'd relabel them as Northeastern Gothic, for, if there is such a thing, this would be it.

Review copy supplied by the publisher as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. ( )
  DoskoiPanda | Dec 9, 2011 |
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This collection of gothic short stories from the author of Trinity Fields features tales of a young man who becomes obsessed with his brother's girlfriend and a blind motivational speaker who regains his sight and discovers he was better off before.

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