The Evil B.B. Chow and Other Stories

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Monday, July 03, 2006
by Steve Almond #17

I saw Steve Almond read at Wordstock and I liked him a lot. Everything that I responded to there (funny, fearless, sincere, a little bit warped, a little bit raunchy, etc.) is also found in this collection. What makes this book so winning to me is his ability to believably inhabit a variety of characters while still sounding exactly like himself. It's like some sort of conjuring trick! There were a few stories that didn't particularly ring my bell, but even those are very well written. Some of my favorites: A Happy Dream, The Problem of Human Consumption, Larsen's Novel, and Summer, As In Love. This book was so good I read it all in one sitting. If that's not enough of a recommendation (and it totally should be!), do please consider that not only is he a really good writer but he's also a man of principle -- he quit his job at Boston College because they asked Condoleezza Rice to give the commencement speech!
8 comments on "The Evil B.B. Chow and Other Stories"
  1. Funny you should mention Steve Almond. I almost bought his book the other night at Borders, but then decided to buy something else instead and just check out his book from the library once I pay my debt to the reading public for hoarding a Buffy DVD and a bunch of other books in my trunk for $25 in library fines too long.

  2. Which one of his books did you almost get?

    Bummer about the fines, but at least they go to a good cause (buying more Buffy DVDs, etc.)!

  3. "The Evil B.B. Chow"...I was not at all familiar with Steve Almond, but how could anyone NOT be interested when in such a title? Then, when I started thumbing through, it just seemed like something I should read.

  4. So, now that I've actually read most of the stories, I can say the promise of the "The Evil B.B. Chow" title did not disappoint me. There were a few that I liked better than others (and a few where I read the first page or two and just gave up), but the ones I enjoyed, I really enjoyed - especially the title story and the one about the family that believes it was abducted by aliens. I think that one spoke to me because it reminded me of the day I went to a Pufog meeting (for entertainment purposes only), featuring a lecture entitled "Alien Abduction for Cross Breeding Purposes". Man, was that a free admission well spent! Anyway, thanks for letting me borrow the book, Jen!

  5. I am so glad you read it and found parts that you enjoyed! I didn't know if my "leaving it on the table" ruse would work!

    Speaking of the library, don't you think that they should waive my overdue fees from yesterday since there was a MANHUNT for an armed robbery suspect and the police closed all of the streets surrounding the library? I certainly do. I guess I should try to see if they found him. I know I could hear all of the police sirens and helicopters from here.

  6. Oh, it worked as did your leaving beverage in the fridge ruse!

    I heard about the manhunt! I think you should go visit him in prison and demand he pay your fines for you. If he refuses, you should take him to people's court, where you can ask for how ever many cents the library fine is + a million dollars for pain and suffering.

  7. He should TOTALLY pay my fines. I think you're on to something with the pain and suffering. So, let's see... he owes me 1,000,001.50. Well, actually, 1,000,000.75, since .75 of that was from the previous day. I want to be fair.


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