By Adam Levin
McSweeney’s Rectangulars, $22.00, 256 pages

Adam Levin is a renowned author who achieved success in 2010 with his book The Instructions. Now he has published his first short story collection, Hot Pink. Collected in this book are ten short and not-so-short stories, with content ranging from a man trying to create a doll that replicates life to a love story where nothing seems to go quite right. Levin is quite skilled with words. He can enter the mind of a character and write exactly what they are thinking. He is equally comfortable writing as an Italian pilot or a stoner college student addicted to just getting by in life. It is easy for readers to believe that they are witnessing a conversation between two friends.

Unfortunately many of the stories seem to go on far too long. Although Levin creates worlds that are fun to live in, the reader feels ready to move on halfway through the story. With so many unique ideas, there is a large potential for greatness. But Levin’s execution of the ideas falls short. There are many fantastic short story authors to choose from – Neil Gaiman, Etgar Keret, and Stephen King spring to mind. Adam Levin has a way to go before reaching the pantheon of the greats, but Hot Pink shows he is close to achieving greatness.

By Andrew Keyser