Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (October 25, 2011)
Pages: 208

To be honest, I’m not really sure what MEN IN THE MAKING by BRUCE MACHART is about. I was only able to read the first story and a portion of the second. From what I can gather there are ten stories about ten different men. I’m just not sure what the significance of the stories is.

I didn’t get from the first story any kind of revelation. Wasn’t moved, or inspired. The reason I purchased MEN IN THE MAKING is because the titled caught my attention. I’m a writer, and I hoped to gain some insight for potential male characters for future novels. I was immediately discouraged by the foul language, and vulgar actions.

In the first story a dog dies. Not good, though I wasn’t emotionally attached so it didn’t have the affect such an incident would normally have. In the second story I was only able to make it five pages in. The story began with a guy losing his life to a tree stripper/chopper. Not a pleasant vision. When I got to, “When I was ten, my father held me in front of him at Uncle Weldon’s processing house in Odessa. After Dad had me choose the calf, my cousin Frank loaded a bullet into a special sledge hammer, and when he swung…”

That was it! I couldn’t take anymore.

MEN IN THE MAKING just wasn’t for me. But I do have to add that it was well written with wonderful description. Short stories can be very difficult to master; I’ll give the author that. I wish I could have stomached the language and the content, but I just couldn’t.

Writing is subjective. One could love a piece of work, while another could hate the very same thing. In my opinion, bad writing is bad writing. That was not the case with MEN IN THE MAKING. Just a difference of what one likes to read.

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