So.. it's book time.
People Tell Me Things by David Finkle
In PEOPLE TELL ME THINGS all of the stories feature the narrator who is the friend, lover, confidante, good listener, etc. In his position he is often asked to lunch where he learns about the exploits of friends like Peter in the title story PEOPLE TELL ME THINGS. Peter has been cheating on his wife and has been caught because a woman (he was not sleeping with) lost her earring in his pants. And Bonnie, Peter’s wife, who discovered the earring, knew the real story of how it happened, but took the opportunity to leave him anyway.
When people aren’t availing themselves of their confidante’s empathy and discretion, he talks about some of his desires. He wants to be represented as a character in a novel in HEY, THAT’S ME UP THERE ON THE PRINTED PAGE!. An affair with a married man ironically is the action that gets him there. In MEMORIAL he reads about Noah Goodman’s death in the obituaries. He and Goodman were lovers for a considerable period of time. The nature of their relationship, how they parted, and the memorial service at his passing is a bitter-sweet ending to the collection.
Finkle’s characters and their relationships are at once messy and glorious. And the magic of Manhattan shines through–where everyday people mix with the famous and the infamous, sometimes for just a moment, with an impact that lasts a lifetime.
Here's what I absolutely loved about the book: I think I would fit in with David and his friends. A lot of them reminded me of people I knew in my own life and I absolutely loved that. I often find myself being that person in the middle of things and hearing every side and then having to keep it all straight in my head. I would by lying if I said I didn't write things down just so I could keep it all straight. It's a precarious position to be in sometimes.
What I didn't love... is that while I understand that each story is meant to have a different narrator, it never really felt like it. And then when I really think about the title of the book, I really feel like I would have enjoyed it more had it all been the same narrator- it would have seemed even more incredible that one person is being told all of this. Does that make sense? The disadvantage by having different narrators is that it comes off feeling more, "so what- everybody has at least one story, but who has that many stories?"
I will tell you that it is a fast read with chapters being relatively short. This would be a great book to through in your purse or murse (I know there has to be at least one man reading this post carrying a purse) to read a quick chapter. I will agree that it's insightful and funny as well. The other added bonus is being able to read these things as an unbiased account of something and be able to see how ridiculous people are sometimes.
You know I would never ask you to rely on just my review, so I encourage you to see what others are saying, HERE. One lucky reader will also be able to win their own copy (US/Canada only, please). To win...
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