Sunday, January 13, 2013

Review: Over the Bridge by Lisamarie Lamb

Over the Bridge contains sixteen short stories of the creepy variety, often quirky or humorous. Opening with The Plot Thickens, the tale of a couple who independently, but simultaneously, decide their spouse must die, Over the Bridge is dependent on Lisamarie Lamb's macabre sense of humor, supported by her gripping prose.

For this reader, the memorable pieces in this brief (less than a hundred pages) collection are An Average of Forty-One A Year, a piece surrounding the experiences of two very different couples on the same flight, the amusing and unexpected Tyger, Tyger, the delicate pieces Soft Snowflakes, and Her House, and Travelling West, a surprising piece with twist-ending, a feat which often enough bores me, but left me chuckling in this case. Other pieces, such as Benson's Barn, start off well enough, but end up feeling a touch (unintentionally) silly. While the writing is competent, only a handful truly impressed me as being fully original and inspired. Lamb's noticeably British style is easy to read, and engaging, but the ideas feel too close to things I've read before.

Overall, this is a passable collection which shows more promise than actual greatness. Indeed, its glimmers of true invention perhaps highlight the weaknesses of other pieces. There are pieces here were they in an anthology or magazine I would definitely recommend with enthusiasm, but when placed side-by-side with lesser stories, the whole leaves me underwhelmed. However, these glimmers are enough for me to believe Lamb has a solid career ahead and I would certainly consider her work in the future.

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