Reviews

Florida, by Lauren Groff

eruthd's review against another edition

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5.0

After reading the Wind Up Bird Chronicle, this was a really nice change of pace and quick read. I enjoyed the stories, some were a little dark or sad, but they all gave you a nice snippet into someone from FL. I liked knowing the locations and other Florida details too.

messagevaleriek's review against another edition

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3.0

Groff’s prose is wordy and winding. This works for some of the stories in Florida (particularly those heavier on dialogue- dialogue cuts through her tendency toward excess), while others leave you feeling as if you’ve read through a thesaurus....

leah_duncan's review against another edition

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4.0

Read this at a weird time in my life and it made me feel anxious and cynical. It’s real good though. 🤷‍♀️

katieparker's review against another edition

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4.0

(Actually 3.5 stars. I rounded up.) This book had been sitting on my nightstand almost since it was first released (maybe partially because of its gorgeous book jacket). While I read fairly exclusively on my Kindle, I have a weird habit of only buying short story collections in their print forms. But, then it's hard for me to actually pick them up to read because the Kindle is just so much more convenient and comfortable. Anyway, I misplaced my Kindle after finishing Circe, so I finally picked this up.

Lauren Groff's writing is incredibly good. Her sentences make me feel bad about everything I've ever written, this review included. She clearly knows what she's doing, and I envy her skills so much that it's actually kind of overwhelming.

My favorite story was probably "For the Love of God, for the Love of God," which is one of the few where all the characters have actual names and doesn't seem like it's written from the perspective of the author herself, a woman with a husband and two young sons. And I think that's partially what I didn't love about this collection. The stories started to feel repetitive, to be honest. I did like having Florida as a central theme (I need to get back there sometime this year), even if some of the stories took place elsewhere, like France. However, I don't think it was entirely necessary since they already felt connected through their very similar characters.

Definitely worth reading, but maybe try to space it out more than I did, finishing it almost entirely in one day.

readkaylaread's review

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challenging dark reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

meowpompom's review against another edition

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3.0

I thought of the waves of sleep rushing through their brains, washing out the tiny unimportant flotsam of today so that tomorrow’s heavier truths could wash in.

e_ramirez_ortega's review against another edition

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4.0

The prose is exquisite. Some very good lines here. The characters are a bit complicated, sometimes the settings or stream of consciousness can be a bit dreamy. My least favorite tales were: Eyewall; For the God of Love, for the Love of God; Above and Below; Yport.

All others were either read in TNY or heard on TNY Fiction Podcast. It was there that I knew I wanted to explore more of Groff's short fiction. I was impressed by her characterization, her inclusion of children, and her deep dive into the subconscious. I especially studied her writing for point of view (1st person and 3rd person) and character development. It is a good place to start if you're interested in setting.

The last tale was a bit too slow for me; got dizzy with the rounds and rounds all over town in France. Felt like a merry-go-round to me, and I was glad to finish that tale.

One thing I don't particularly like are the titles of the stories. I think they were not as interesting as the stories themselves. The collection, Florida, fits its title, that's for sure. If I had to rename this collection, I would call it Tormenta.

kristin0517's review against another edition

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4.0

I love short stories. These were great- created a whole mood and I loved the atmosphere.

belbonnie's review against another edition

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3.0

⟶ 3.5/5 stars

I actually first bought this book in 2017 after I heard one of the stories in it read on NPR's Selected Shorts. The story was "At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners" and I just fell in love with the prose and atmosphere on the spot and knew I needed to read it.

For the most part, it held up! The prose is really beautiful, and every story is incredibly atmospheric and tonally powerful, and they keep you just waiting to see what happens next. Groff is a master of building suspense and this slow, heavy feeling of dread that makes you sure something terrible is about to happen and makes for a morbidly exciting read. The only thing that really gave me trouble was that each story was about a different woman, in theory, but they were so, so similar. For the most part, they were women in fine but lacking marriages, with two young sons she adores but feels distant from, thinking about the dangers of the world. It's a narrative repeated in at least three of the pieces, and for me it got a bit tiring, but overall still a great collection.

reishail's review

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dark emotional funny reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0