Steve Almond

Books Reviews Steve Almond
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Steve Almond

Converting dustup to essay

In his second book of non?ction, Steve Almond retains the witty, often sexy, ironic-meets-vulnerable qualities that make his short ?ction so engaging.

Using situations from his everyday life, he spins his quirky experiences into insights, riffng on everything from Kurt Vonnegut to Lobster Pad Thai. To borrow a phrase from ?ight attendants, when reading Not That You Asked, please be careful opening overhead bins, as items tend to shift during takeoff.

Almond confronts a self-important literary critic/blogger who viciously attacks him via laptop in “Blog Love.” Just at the point when he could lambaste his cyber-assailant, he shows compassion. Also, in the power-chord inspired “Tesla Matters (Dude)” he waxes nostalgic about his past as a hard-rock journalist, while exposing a tender longing for the reckless, unabashed hope of youth.

Vacillating between sweet and sardonic, Almond always maintains his authentic voice. The result is a collection that’s observant, passionate, and slightly off-kilter.