This is a short story collection I'd read a lot about; it had been sitting as a placeholder on my Amazon wishlist for a year or so now. I have to admit to some initial confusion: First, is Wells Tower a man or a woman? (Answer: he's a man, not that it really matters) Second, are these stories about September 11? (Answer: no, though I thought so because I was confused with The Looming Tower plus the violent title - I guess I had an Orson Welles/George Orwell moment with this book, where similar-sounding things get confused)
OK, that's neither here nor there.
I thought I read somewhere that a couple of the stories in this book were interconnected; if so, the connections seem fairly tenuous. But there are some themes that run throughout the stories.
I have to be honest - the book read quickly and easily and was touching in places and amusing in others. But I forgot most of the content as soon as I finished it. There were no unforgettable characters or situations or deep truths revealed. I liked the one with the fish tank, the one with the two brothers, I didn't really like the carnival one much...I mean, that's how I'd describe it if you asked. Not much else sticks with me. Even the Viking one was sort of blah.
I guess what I'd say is: Tower draws true-to-life characters. But he didn't draw even one I'd particularly root for. And in the context of these short stories, there wasn't enough for me to get to know them to care. Maybe if his next work was a novel he'd do better in this regard. (Though honestly, I wouldn't go out and buy it unless the premise somehow sounded very intriguing.)
So, I'd recommend a pass on this one.