Today's NYTimes contains a review of Coronado: Stories - By Dennis Lehane that isn't exactly a rave (ok, it's more of a pan). I read this over the summer - one of the many RA books I got a ALA.
You know what? It's not that bad. First caveat: I've never read a Lehane book before. So I went into it with eyes wide open, without expecting something along the lines of Mystic River. Second caveat: I'm not a professional critic. So I'm not able to sound all high-falutin' about Literature. It's just that I know what I like, and what I don't. And, as I said earlier, critics shouldn't pontificate, they should act like the wide-eyed hoi polloi do and experience the work "in the space between discovery and connoisseurship".
Anyway, back to the work at hand. I didn't get through the play, but the stories weren't difficult and demanding. They were rough, in some ways (not just language, but situation). And even though that's not my preferred style, I could see the appeal. I liked the stories. They weren't wonderful literature, and there were few images that stayed with me after I closed the book, but while I was reading them I felt there: in that place, at that time, observing the people doing and saying and feeling.
Sometimes, that's the best read there is.