Book Review: Fresh Complaint is a highly anticipated collection that leaves a lot to be desired

Jeffrey Eugenides, best known for his novels The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, has earned a reputation as somewhat of a heavyweight in American literature. His last book was The Marriage Plot, published in 2011, a novel which followed three college students during the year 1982. Many parts of that novel were loosely based on the author’s own college experiences, in particular those portions relating to the character Mitchell. This is interesting to note, as in the new collection Fresh Complaint, published this year by Fourth Estate, Mitchell makes a brief appearance as the protagonist in a short story called ‘Air Mail.’ He is resting on a remote island somewhere in Asia, in the middle of his years of wandering, suffering from severe bouts of dysentery. His parents are worried about him, but he believes that he is about to reach enlightenment. Later, believing himself to be fully recovered, he feasts on his first solid meal in weeks, only to find himself needing the toilet urgently later on when he is swimming. I tell you this ending only because it sheds a different light on the cover of the Australian hardback edition of the book, which features a man floating in the ocean…... Read More | Share it now!