I read so much hype about Lorrie Moore and specifically this book, and I'm not sure it was all deserved. I liked the writing, which was laced with wry humor, but it didn't whip up the undying passion it seemed to engender in so many reviewers. Moore is a miniaturist in that serious issues like race and 9/11 come into the narrative, but never dominate the book. Instead, Moore examines how big things impact an ordinary person's life, and lets us draw our own conclusions. In the end, I guess I want something less understated, a little more...more. I do like how Moore shows how our senses betray us into paying attention to the immediate - how propinquity can stand in for importance - so that the hollyhocks in bloom can claim our attention in the stead of, say, a message from a loved one on the brink of a potentially disastrous decision.
Could it really be that Jonathan Lethem only knows *one* reader who doesn't like Moore, as he said in his NYTimes review