Monday, August 29, 2016

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
Published April 8, 2014

So I was a little wary about picking up this book because I’m really not a fan of nonfiction but because of my NYPL Read Harder Challenge, I had chosen this book due to its popularity.  I’m actually really glad I read it because even though it’s shelved as “non-fiction”, it’s actually not really non-fiction at all since majority of the short stories were fiction.  Even the ones categorized as non-fiction were really interesting – it wasn’t as boring and bland as I was expecting.

The one negative thing though, I’m not even sure if you can call it negative, is that there is no correlation between each story with the next.  Again, I’m used to fiction where each chapter or whatever is somewhat related and even for books comprised of short stories, they were still categorized under fiction and they all had some relatable theme for each of the stories.  However, for this book, each story was vastly different from the next.  I was actually confused for the first two stories because there was a Sam in both of them so I thought the stories were related and they clearly weren’t.  Once I got over the fact that each chapter is completely different, it was smooth sailing from there.  Each story was entertaining – some were only a page or two long and others a good chunk.  The stories ranged from very personal and realistic to something akin to sci-fi at times. 

Another thing I wanted to point out was the author.  The writing style for some of the stories were different from others so for a while, I actually thought each chapter was written by someone knew similar to those books comprised of short stories from multiple authors.  However, I then realized that I was an idiot because if it was comprised of multiple writers then it would be stated either on the front cover or at the beginning of each story.  So, upon realizing that, I thought it was interesting how she was able to emulate different types of writing style and voices for each short story.

I’m not going to go into detail about each story since they were all very different from each other but overall, I really enjoyed the book and even though I doubt I’ll pick up another similar unless another challenge required me to, I still found this experience to be very illuminating.  So if you’re looking for a good non-fiction or even just a book with a bunch of essays/short stories then check this one out.



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