No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July
When I first started exploring other book blogs and reading related e-newsletters, Miranda July’s collection of short stories kept popping up. The author and her collection of short stories sounded intriguing to me, but for whatever reason it wasn’t something I thought about when I went to order books. I joined Audible this spring and I was delighted to see that they offered this book and that it was read by the author. Since she’s a performance artist, I knew that this was the way to go with this book and used a credit on it immediately. In the end, I was happy that I picked this up during my introductory period and didn’t pay full price for the credit I spent on it.
No One Belongs Here More Than You is a collection of stories, in most cases not much more than character sketches, about people who are socially awkward and who just don’t seem to fit in with their surroundings. They are desperate and candidates for therapy at best and institutionalization at worst. There were moments where I really loved her writing, but I never once cared about a single narrator. If anything, I was concerned for the safety of those who were unwittingly apart of their lives.
After about the fifth story they all started to blend together and I lost interest. Miranda July’s reading didn’t help. While I cannot say that she read in a monotone voice, there is something about its quality and the lack of emotion that added to my disinterest. While listening, I often wonder if I would have enjoyed this more if it were read by another person or if I read it myself. It’s possible that those factors may have elevated my opinion somewhat, but I doubt it would have been enough for me to recommend it as a whole. Quite frankly, this territory is better covered by Patrick McGrath.
Here is a sample reading by Miranda July provided on her website. If you are interested, the stories “The Man on the Stairs” and “Birthmark” stood out to me. Rent the book from the library and read those stories. Otherwise, I’d just pass.
To buy this book, click here.