Book Review: Barbara the Slut and Other People

  Somehow I have regained a bit of momentum on my reading list this month, and I couldn’t be happier! I blew through Barbara the Slut and Other People in two days! Granted, it’s been super slow at work and the book is pretty short-but hey it is an accomplishment! I am way more of a novel reader than a short story person, I like to delve deep into the characters. I had a hard time in my creative writing classes in college, creating a story in a small form. I always wanted more. But in the interest of trying new things this year, I have it a go. Fascinating title, right?

I love this book you guys! As I’ve said in the past, character development is the number one thing for me. Holmes amazingly perfectly crafts these flawed, realistic characters in such a short space. I felt like I knew her characters by the end of each story. That is super difficult to obtain in a novel, much less a short story.

Holmes is very minimal in her story telling. She drops you right into the situation, no warning, no backstory. As the reader you pick up things along the way but you have a million questions that aren’t answered. And there aren’t really endings or resolutions to these stories. They just kind of stop. Which normally would bother me, a lot! But, it doesn’t with these. They feel like small life snapshots, when they end, they end. As the reader it is nice to kind of fill in the puzzle yourself even if it isn’t correct.

I connected with the characters because many of the stories focused on young adults around my age. She tackled the subjects of what to do after college when you can’t find a job (work at a sex toy store, of course!), family issues (no they don’t get easier when you grow up), being true to yourself, dumping the nice guy, really bonding with your dog! Even the adolescence based stories feel so real to me, the mean kids at school, high school judgement. It beautifully captured what it’s like to grow up in this society. 

I think this was a wonderful time in my life to read this book and it seems to summarize my crazy year in a way. Everyone in college, in their twenties should read this. 5 stars!

~Lauren 

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