Book Review | Everyone Wants to Be Ambassador to France

I read this book last month and forgot to post a review of it. Oops. Well, better late than never, as they say.

This quirky, whimsical collection of short stories by Bryan Hurt is not something I usually read, though I’m trying to expand my interests. And I’m very glad I read this one; it was fun! The stories are unconnected, so this is a book that’s perfect for taking along while traveling or if you’re busy but still want to read—the stories are pretty fast reads, some just a few pages long. However, none lack in emotion or development.

Each tale is different; there are historical elements as well as sci-fi ones, believable yarns rooted firmly in reality and others that suspend your disbelief in truly amusing ways. Some of the standouts for me are: “The Bilingual School,” “Moonless,” and “The Fourth Man.”

Hurt’s narration is quite conversational and unique; I can’t put my finger on what exactly about it makes me say that, but I very much enjoyed his voice. He knows how to tell an absorbing, complete story, even if it only spans a few pages. He’s funny and emotional and strange, often all at once. And his ability to evoke such feeling in such succinct works is remarkable.

In the end, this book is great. The humor is unusual, dry, sometimes dark, but always well-written. The characters are vivid, the writing excellent and distinctive. Overall, this collection is innovative and minimalist, intriguing and odd, and wholly entertaining.

Overall rating: 8.4/10

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