It is important in America literature that our writers constantly challenge themselves to write progressively and with innovation. While I whole-heartedly believe some literature is meant to be enjoyed by the masses, I also believe there is a niche in the world of literature where it is high art, and therefore unlikely to be enjoyed in the mainstream. That’s okay, because art ceases to be art the moment everyone can easily absorb it. It then becomes popular culture.
Super Flat Times is nothing if not original. With this collection of stories, Matthew Derby has proven he has a limitless imagination and absolutely no fear.
However, while I don’t require all literature to be easily digestible, I do require that it utilize some semblance of coherence. Super Flat Times does not. Derby has constructed a world throughout its various stages of history, yet he does not offer any consistencies with that world from story to story. Vagueness I can handle; flat out contradiction without purpose I cannot.
As I said, if you’d like a volume with a wild imagination and no restraints, you may enjoy Super Flat Times. But, if you demand some sort of organized plotline with at least a hint of uniformity throughout, I’d pass.