Good Until the End
By Jared Yates Sexton
Atticus books, $14.95, 223 pages
An End to All Things is a short story collection about ends of sorts. It shows the end of relationships, end of innocence, and the end of very many, many bottles of alcohol. It depicts characters and those small, seemingly insignificant moments in their lives that reflect their utter humanity. Readers should definitely read this book from beginning to end because the book takes some interesting thematic choices towards the end.
While reading these stories, this reviewer became very reminiscent of Raymond Carver. In fact, a good way to describe these stories would be Carver-lite. The characters are exceedingly human and they can’t do anything right no matter how hard they try to make themselves happy. While they do read like classic short stories, the stories in this collection share a similar voice, almost too similar, but that’s not necessarily a problem since they are all very compelling. This collection is Jared Yates Sexton’s first collection, which suggests that he has a long literary career ahead of him, and readers should be excited for that. Definitely a good read.
Reviewed by Gregory A. Young