Nine Inches: Stories

Tom Perrotta
4
Oct 23, 2014

Nine Inches: Stories is a short-story collection that subtly probes the inner thoughts and motivations of everyday people making self-destructive choices—infidelity, drugs, jealousy, greed. These behaviors aren't particularly noteworthy, yet the stories feel rather intimate and revealing. Perrotta is an expert at planting a seed of foreboding that left me nervously anticipating each narrator's ultimate demise. When the situations finally took a bad turn, I wasn't sure whether to be relieved or devastated because I'd gotten to know these flawed but relatable human beings. The stories tend to end just as the characters' wrongdoings are publicly exposed, and I was often left wondering how they fared days, weeks, and years later.

Even though this collection is fiction, as a fan of memoir I found the book's realistic and introspective tone appealing. These stories very much reminded me of those by Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro in Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. The audiobook version has the extra perk of hearing talented narrators who take turns reading the stories, giving it an nice personal touch. I recommend this quick read or listen if you're interested in trying a collection of short stories.

Written by Hope H.

Don't you love the interrobang?! It's my favorite punctuation mark.