(CCLaP is dedicated to reviewing as many contemporary books as possible, including self-published volumes; click here to learn how to submit your own book for possible review, although be warned that it needs to have been published within the last 18 months to be considered. For the complete list of all books reviewed here, as well as the next books scheduled to be read, click here.)
By Vanessa Blakeslee
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
Regular readers know that I find it difficult to write reviews of short-story collections -- the shortness of each piece makes it hard to do a really good analytical look at the book as a whole, while the nature of such collections means that some pieces might be great while others are terrible -- and Vanessa Blakeslee's Train Shots is a great example of what I'm talking about. Not particularly great nor particularly terrible, these slice-of-life character-heavy pieces sometimes are long and engaging, sometimes tiny and that barely make a blip on the consciousness; and like most story collections I review here, it comes recommended for those who are already a fan of the author, but can be easily skipped by those who aren't. A middle-of-the-road score to reflect the uneven nature of story collections in general, some of these pieces deserve a higher score than this, while others deserve a lower one, averaged out in the end as a symbol for me shrugging my shoulders once finished and saying to myself, "Meh."
Out of 10: 7.5