Why Visit America - Matthew Baker

Why Visit America is a collection of 'outlandish' narratives that actually aren't too difficult to imagine becoming the true way of life in the near future. Baker pulls together aspects of the population's worst fears and chilling plausibility to produce skewed visions of reality that are the perfect short stories.

I received this book as part of a Tandem Collective read-along in collaboration with Bloomsbury Publishing and the author. Why Visit America has a total of 13 short stories of varying lengths with each based on a different topic or concept that Baker brings to life, from old age to consumerism, drugs to internet culture.

Having not read any of Baker's previous work I didn't know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised his ability to write compelling narrative that gets you invested in the story and characters immediately. However, as this is a collection of short stories and not a continuous story it became clear which writing techniques Baker favours as it often became repetitive to see the same techniques again and again.

With that being said each story became a solid foundation for expansion and all of them could have easily been a novel of it's own. Baker sets the scene and atmosphere for all of the stories individually so each deserved a rating of it's own;

  • Fighting Words - 3/5

  • Rites - 5/5

  • The Transition - 5/5

  • Life Sentence - 4/5

  • A Bad Day in Utopia - 4/5

  • Testimony of your Majesty - 5/5

  • The Sponsor - 3/5

  • One Big Happy Family - 5/5

  • Appearance - 4/5

  • Lost Souls - 4/5

  • The Master - 3/5

  • Why Visit America - 5/5

  • To Be Read Backwards - 5/5

With an average rate of 4.2 this is definitely something I'd recommend, it was easy to pick up and put down after each story., it left your thinking and leaves an impact. Thank you Tandem, Bloomsbury and Matthew Baker for sending me a copy!

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