I really wanted to like Victoria Patterson’s collection Drift. Really, I did. It has great reviews on Amazon and kind of does what I want to do for my BFA project: linking short stories to form something like a novel. The main theme, dysfunction on Newport Beach, is nothing new, but something I’ve liked in the past. So it should have had potential.
But three stories in, I had to stop reading. I couldn’t do it anymore. Already two stories with divorce and two stories with sexual-identity-crisis. It’s fine to follow themes, but this was too much. And I didn’t buy her voice as a man’s for a second.
I found the writing on a sentence-by-sentence level confusing, wordy, and pretty full-of-itself. It’s like she thinks she’s better than she is. On the back of the book, some author says something* like “Victoria Patterson has incredible talent.” It’s too bad she didn’t use it. I mean, only three of the stories had been published previously…that should have clued me in before purchase – I guess there’s a reason it’s only seven bucks.
I feel ripped off.*I don’t have the book with me so I don’t know who said it and I don’t know if that’s the actual quote.