{Short Story Review} The French Have A Word For It – Josh Lanyon

The French Have A Word For It
Josh Lanyon
Rating: 3/5

1. I adored the descriptions in this book. The imagery was vivid and I could see where they were and the atmosphere of the place, despite never having been to France.

2. It’s a short story, so the characters weren’t developed as well as they could have been–that said, I can see why the development was so little, but I was still disappointed. There are plenty of short stories that have been able to put great characterizations even if they’re only less than fifty pages (The Chaser, A Clean Well Lighted Place, The Jewels, just to name a few), but I guess since this is a fluff story, the author didn’t feel a need for a deeper characterization? It was just a teeny bit disappointing, since Lanyon’s strength is in his characters.

3. Lastly, I wished the title had more to do with the story than the setting. The French Have A Word For It, why not base or at least have a part of the story focus on a feeling, moment or happening that the French have a term for but doesn’t have a direct translation (or indeed, a translation that does it justice) in the English language? Like La douleur exquise, L’esprit de l’escalier, chômer, and so on?

All in all, it was a nice relaxing quick read (vividly described, sweet and engaging) in between heavier books –if that was it’s sole purpose, it achieved it.


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