I read this book in one day. Half on the beach in Newport and half in the Las Vegas airport. Not something I would recommend but it was what it was. And Jesus Christo the Vegas airport broke me. It really did. I give our species ZERO chance of survival. ZERO. But that is another story. Back to the book. I think Sam would have hated both the beach in Newport and anything remotely resembling Vegas or the people who would purposely go there for ANY reason at all.
I’m not a short story person either. Rarely do I find these books fulfilling. But I loved Great Dream of Heaven. Sam was an observer, a very, very good observer, and I think I found this book so wonderful because maybe we sometimes observe some of the same things. Small vignettes of his life woven with American life, brief, seemingly inconsequential things that when expanded become poetic nuances of what makes us human. One story in particular about being a party and being asked to go to the store to buy extra basil. He finds himself happy to go so he can avoid being at the party, and my first thought was “Yep, that would be me.”
Observing is an interesting thing, and finding another observer is always enchanting. Because so many of us have utterly lost the desire and ability to observe, so addicted to the screen we are. And sitting in the airport reading is one way of noticing this. Get it, read it and then give it to a friend.