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MarginMan

MarginMan

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Robert Lowell, Michael Hofmann
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Success: Stories

Success: Stories - David A.  Taylor I received a promotional copy through the First Reads program.

I'm torn on what to rate this. Probably 3 1/2 or 4.

There's plenty of variety here, with stories set in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Texas, Massachusetts, Maryland, etc. Characters include government functionaries, clinical trial drug testers, Muslim villagers, and a deaf locksmith.

As others have mentioned, Taylor is skilled at dropping a reader into his stories. His characters seem real; their situations believable for the most part. There are stories here that I expect to linger with me: "Pelagro" and "Electrolysis", for example. Others, such as "May Day", missed the mark. The weaker stories are not necessarily bad stories, or poorly written, but they lack fulfillment. I would be left with an empty, unsatisfied feeling when finishing these pieces.