BARK by Lorrie Moore

BARKAs any true short story junkie knows, you cannot go wrong with Lorrie Moore. Beginning with her first collection, SELF-HELP (published in 1985), she established herself as a deft musician with words, and she has rarely hit a wrong note. BARK is no exception. From the first story, “Debarking,” which grabs us by the shoulder with “Ira had been divorced six months and still couldn’t get his wedding ring off,” she makes us care about characters who are often—let’s face it—helplessly lost and flailing around, trying to make sense of their lives.

Even her tales of the most mundane dysfunction—broken marriages—sparkle with a humorous sheen. “Paper Losses,” for example, begins: “Although Kit and Rafe had met in the peace movement, making no nukes signs, now they wanted to kill each other. They had become, also, a little pro-nuke.” It could be the start of a Garrison Keillor novel except that the characters become darker and more obsessed with power struggles: “Divorce, she could see, would be like marriage: a power grab, as in who would be the dog and who would be the owner of the dog?”

I read BARK quickly, but it has stayed with me. The sign of a good book.

About OnlyGoodBooks

Creator of The Literacy Cookbook (, I am an educational consultant who also happens to love to read incessantly. I found myself referring friends to so many books that it seemed like time to create a blog to record all of these recommendations. So here it is.
This entry was posted in Dogs, Fiction, Humor, Relationships, Short story collection and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s