Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Review - "nice big american baby"

"nice big american baby" by Judy Budnitz
My grade: B+

My relationship with Judy (yes, I'm on a first-name basis!) is not simple. After reading, and loving, "The Flying Leap", I thought: those are exactly the kind of stories I want to write! And needless to say, Judy became a kind of hero for me, a writer I really looked up to. As often happens in situations like this, though, I'm somewhat disappointed. What I really liked about Judy before is that she took something normal, and slowly went into the absurd with it. And she did it so nonchalantly, that we weren't even sure at what point the change took place. Some of the same can be found in this book, except Judy bypasses the absurd, and goes straight for the abstract. In my opinion, she went one notch too far.

Aside from that, I found the writing too raw in some points. Really, unpardonably raw. My favorite stories, nonetheless, remain the first one, "nice big american baby" and "preparedness". I likewise have to say that Judy has an incredible depth of creativity, and I would definitely read another book of hers, especially short stories.


  1. she is definitely a short story master. I liked Flying Leap as a whole more but I liked her surreal imagery in this one. she left you thinking and imagining long after... unfortunately she has no other books and I'm unsure why. my favorite is still the first one I read, if I told you once.

  2. I definitely prefer her short story collections over the novel. Hopefully, she'll have more books out soon!