Having first read and enjoyed one of Singleton's later books('Why Dogs Chase Cars') I was surprised to find myself struggling at times with his sentence syntax (of all things) in this first book of his stories. Aside from that, I found it very enjoyable. This collection focuses on man's attempt to understand himself, society and primarily women as seen from a "Southern" perspective. I did have more "laugh-out-loud" moments while reading 'These People Are Us' than any other book in recent memory.
Very funny book about normal people that strange things happen to. They really are us.
I give it 2 stars. It was kind of blah.
I was disappointed in this book. The stories are well written, but in the final analysis, I thought his themes were repetitive. There were about three basic stories-- got a wife, gained a wife, lost a wife-- without enough variance to engage. I found myself trudging through to the end of the book on principle more than interest. Perhaps if I had read each individually, as standalone offerings in magazines etc, I would have found the stories more appealing. I've read this type of fiction/short story in the past, but this author didn't click for me.
The stories in this book are just plain hilarious, told with lean, witty prose that is dry as dry humor can get.
The poor narrator is always losing a wife or a girlfriend in one of the stories, or coming upon a revelation about a relationship that he was IN that sets the crux of the "didn't see it coming" denouement.
These stories are mostly about hard working lower class and unsatisfied middle class people, told with an edge to the at-times twilight-zonish world we live in.
I look forward to reading more by Singleton.