Bream Gives Me Hiccups & Other Stories / Jesse Eisenberg
I have this prejudice against celebrities who writes novels. Especially pop stars and reality tv stars. There have been a few books that I simply laugh at whenever I see them in the bookstore (see: Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s YA book). I have this urge to shake the publishers who were intent on destroying the industry by signing these “so-called writers”. Who the heck do you think you’re kidding? Your blatant money-grabbing stint is what’s going to ruin us all. Ugh. But that’s another can of worms for another day.
Not all celebrities are poseurs, though. I can name a few who are writers in their right: Steve Martin, Woody Allen, and James Franco even. Jesse Eisenberg is one that I consider to be a multi-talented actor whom I didn’t know also writes on the side (mostly screenplays). The good news is, he knows a thing or two about writing.
Bream Gives Me Hiccups is a collection of short stories written in the most varied and quirky perspectives. Some of them funny, some of them not-so. The stories are not connected; one has nothing to do with the other, but he manages to give each story its own life.
The first story is about a nine-year-old food reviewer who is dealing with life as he lives it with his divorced mother and how she copes with being a single parent (lots of alcohol and frivolous dining experience all on her ex’s dime, apparently.). He writes dining reviews; most of which depends not on culinary merits (he’s 9 after all), but on how it correlates with his day to day life. Hidden behind the humour is a heart-tugging realization that the reader sees how this boy cope with his broken home.
There are 28 short stories in total; stories that are funny, engaging, whip-smart, quirky and bizarre. Eisenberg knows how to manipulate the readers into going along with his antics. He also has the uncanny ability to write interesting dialogues that makes for an easy read. But throughout the narrative, you can’t help but hear Jesse’s voice.
There really is not much to say about this collection other than I hope he’ll consider writing a full length novel in the future.
GOODREADS SUMMARY | Bond Street Books | September 8th, 2015 | Short Stories | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars