• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Big Time: Stories by Jen Spyra

Spyra's humor is edgy, dark, and far from politically correct as she plays up absurd and disturbing scenarios in the name of satire.

This book! Spyra frequently made me verrrry uncomfortable as I read Big Time, her collection of stories. They're satirical, dark, edgy, bizarre, and often outrageous.

I'm curious about what unsuspecting readers may think if they go into this one without warnings about dark subjects played up for amusement. Spyra seems eager to leap over the line that separates questionable from almost certainly offensive. She turns situations on their heads, but the majority of stories felt heavy-handed to me.

The standout highlights of Big Time for me were two clever, funny stories I really liked, "The Secret Meeting of the Women’s Club" (featuring various real-life female celebrities as part of a private club through which they pull strings and wield power) and "Big Time” (in which a Golden Age movie star is plunged into the future, where her old-fashioned views and strategies come into question, but her spirited attitude turns out to be timeless).

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

Spyra was a writer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and for The Onion.

Other short story collections I've reviewed lately include Sarahland by Sam Cohen, Half Wild by Robin MacArthur, and The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans.