Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast

Book Review: Bark


1st Jan 2015 Book Reviews

Book Review: Bark

Bark, by Lorrie Moore


(Faber, £11.99; ebook, £7.99) 

In the modern books world, there aren’t many things rarer than a bestselling short-story writer—but Lorrie Moore has deserved every bit of her success. In her first new collection for 15 years, the main characters have inevitably grown older, with many either caught in long-term marriages (“What had happened to the handsome hippie she had married?”) or dealing with

the gruesome business of post-divorce dating (“picking up where they had left off decades ago, if only they could remember where the hell that was”).

Once again, though, Moore plunges us deep and instantly into their lives, while also conveying with miraculous concision the choices, mistakes and accidents that have led them to this point. She’s as funny as ever too—combining sympathy and beady-eyed shrewdness with quietly zinging one-liners. In the first story, for example, a child of divorce is “now rudely transported between houses in a speedy, ritualistic manner resembling
a hostage drop-off”.

Short stories, like vinyl records, are often predicted to be on the brink of a comeback that somehow never quite happens. Nonetheless, if you want to see how terrific—and satisfying—they can be, then Lorrie Moore on the top of her form is a pretty good place to start.

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit