Acid by Edward Falco

ifpoetshadmerch's review against another edition

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3.5 stars

While Falco's writing style didn't necessarily blow me away, this collection of short stories is commendable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Falco is able to take on the perspectives of so many different people in a way that didn't feel forced. We hear stories from men and women, teenagers, older adults, all facing different societal and relationship struggles.

However, what I found most interesting about Acid is that the anxieties and paranoia of the late 80's and early 90's (the book was published in 1996) are not dissimilar to the issues that we're facing today. As the title of the collection suggests, several of the short stories deal with the issue of drug abuse and drug addiction and the difficulty of pulling oneself away from the culture, which has parallel's to today's opioid epidemic. (The theme of drugs, however, is most prominent in the first several stories of the collection). There are stories dealing with leery men and faux scientific conspiracies (a father's preoccupation with radon made me think of anti-vax debates) and frustration towards politicians.

While there were stories in the collection I really enjoyed, in general, I thought that the overall plot structures were somewhat predictable. Most stories (with the exception of one) ended with a pessimistic lilt that refused to state any concrete conclusion, instead just open and elusively symbolic in a stereotypical short story way.