The Virginity of Famous Men shows the entanglements of love and life through the eyes of crestfallen

Bloomsbury USA (c) 2016

The Virginity of Famous Men is a collection of short stories that shines a bright light on the human condition. Each of its 13 tales focusing in on the flaws and loneliness that are sometimes found in the backdrop of such things as one’s career, family, marriage, and even motherhood. Or as determined by the ghost of Roger Weber in Roger Weber Would Like to Stay – “this lack of meaningful communication – the dead to the living, the living to the dead, the living to the living.”

Through the rich and sometimes crude descriptions of the people and emotions that inhabit each story’s world, author Christine Sneed has a way of painting you right inside the protagonist’s domain. Whether as a bystander who is unable to look away from the tragedy unfolding before them or by putting you in the shoes of what is most often an anti-hero. Making it almost impossible to not care for, commiserate with – and sometimes even loathe – these characters all at once.

The Virginity of Famous Men is a well-written collection that beautifully shows the entanglements of love and life through the eyes of crestfallen. These are narratives of the intricate emotions that make up even the simplest of people. Do not mistake these as mere stories of sadness and un-redeeming, imperfect characters. For each gives an insight into the complexity of the “sorrowful confusions” that accompanies even the most joyous parts of the human existence.

4/5 stars 

The Virginity of Famous Men
Christine Sneed
Bloomsbury USA
320 pages