Today’s book was my most impulsive NetGalley pick yet! Here’s Bream Gives Me Hiccups, by Jesse Eisenberg.
Pre-order this book over at Book Depository
As I said, I stumbled upon this title on NetGalley. My first reaction, I have to admit, was “Is everyone writing books these days?!”. Don’t get me wrong, but it honestly feels like anyone can write and publish a book nowadays. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing but I can’t believe that every “published author” has the talent to call themselves that.
Anyway, I picked this book out of sheer curiosity. I don’t really like Eisenberg as an actor and this is going to sound bad but I think it’s easy to figure him out as a person. I wanted to see if my feeling about him was right or wrong.
To those who might not know, Jesse Eisenber is an american actor. He’s been in movies like Zombieland, The Social Network and he’s going to play the popular nemesis of Superman, Lex Luthor, in the upcoming movie.
Bream Gives Me Hiccups is a collection of short stories with no relation between them. They’re not only set exclusively in America since they go as far back as Pompeii and have different characters that go from kids to drug addicts.
After the first story, about a kid that makes restaurant reviews, I was excited to continue this book. Even though we only read the review, there’s this real depth and detail of his life, specially his relationship with his mother (who he believes only takes him to places since his dad will pay the bill) and his best friend (who might be gay). All these reviews are so sweet and I want to hug and comfort that kid so hard!
The disappointment came with everything else about this book. I lied actually, I also liked the story of a girl whose roommate ate her ramen noodles and then decides to write letters to one of her old teacher. Besides that, all the stories were full of hipster crap and pseudo-intelectual “look at me and what I know” kind of stuff. I have no patience for that. The story I hated the most was one where a couple breaks up and the guy’s sister trades a few emails with the girl, comparing the whole situation to the Bosnian genocide… I can’t begin to explain how freaking annoying that story was! Look, it’s great that you know all of this but it’s not interesting for the reader at all. Referring something that 90% of the audience won’t understand and using it through the majority of a story doesn’t make everything more interesting: it just makes the author look pretentious and it’s honestly infuriating.
Like I said, the stories of the kid who makes restaurant reviews and the girl whose roommate steals her ramen noodles are incredible. It’s a shame they’re not even 10% of the book. Although, it makes me believe that if Eisenberg wanted, he could have written a really touching and beautiful collection of stories. Unfortunately he decided to stick with the hipster references and it came out super flat. I can see the potential and it’s such a shame it isn’t put to use!
It was a disappointment but it fit what I expected. It didn’t quite make me more excited to read more fiction books by celebrities either. I wouldn’t also particularly recommend this. I think there’s other books you could appreciate more.
Here’s a quote from one of the stories I liked:
I think it’s probably best if we don’t write to each other for a while because, Miss Rita, I think I probably use you for a crutch. And I know it’s sometimes really hard to live without a crutch, especially when you feel like your legs really hurt, but it’s better in the long run.
Thank you for reading and I hope to see you again soon!