A Gate at the Stairs

A Gate at the Stairs - Lorrie Moore It saddens me to say this, but, though I tried and tried to like this book, I couldn't even make myself finish it. Enough people I trust have told me how brilliant Moore is that I may still try her short stories. But here, I just couldn't find anything redeeming. The whole thing felt like it was written by someone with no knowledge or experience of what she was writing about. I didn't care about or, even worse, believe in the characters. Quite frankly, they all seemed like bland caricatures, and the few attempts at depth felt like nothing more than intrusions of the author's own thoughts and words. The characters themselves couldn't support their weight. In short, the whole thing felt like a sham.

I should acknowledge here that I have yet to find a single professional negative review of this book, so maybe I'm totally off base. But I will also point out that many of these reviews do mention Moore's "clumsiness" at several major points in the novel. They just seem to think it's forgivable, because the rest of the book is so fantastic. Maybe so, but I couldn't see it. And I really did try.