I received this book from The Next Best Book Club in exchange for an honest review.
‘It’s not fair to blame us for their cruelty. It’s inherent in their design. We had no hand in that,” (Amouzegar 97).
The Hubris of an Empty Hand follows a cast of interconnected characters who unknowingly receive divine gifts from the gods. The gifts are all different, a weight that humans can’t understand and which the gods are eager to get back. These eight stories of the humans who now possess these gifts and the gods searching for them intertwine and connect in unexpected ways offers an interesting look at theology and what divides mortals from the divine.
While I usually like to give individual thoughts when stories are involved, it doesn’t really fit to call The Hubris of an Empty Hand a short story collection. In the literal sense it is, but the fact that all the characters are connected, that their stories affect and shed light on stories from other characters, it just seems like I would spoil too much to do that. So you’ll just have to accept an ordinary book review!
I really did enjoy this book though, more than I thought. It was creative and I really felt for the characters and their stories kept me intrigued, not all of them were likable but even their flaws kept me interested in what would happen next., though some of the stories were a bit repetitive like “The Gods In-Between” and “Joseph,” and it was weird especially that those two stories were right beside each other considering how it was basically the same story from different perspectives. My favourite was probably “A Long, Ornate Dinner Table,” it was especially creative and all of the food mentioned sounded so good (and made me hungry). My one criticism is that strangely enough the human characters sounded really inhuman, the dialogue was awkward at times.
Overall this was a really good read, a great book to end off 2021 and hopefully a good start for more reads to come next year!
Publication: September 30th 2021
Publisher: New Orleans Press
Pages: 270 pages (Paperback, ARC)
Source: The Next Best Book Club (Thanks Lori!)
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤
In eight ethereal stories, The Hubris in an Empty Hand encompasses the frailty and complexity of being human. When some divine gifts fall into decidedly earthly hands, the results are almost beyond reckoning for humans and gods both. Through its wide cast of characters and fascinating settings, terrestrial, divine, or somewhere in-between, Mayhar A. Amouzegar’s fourth book of fiction takes on timeless questions of love and its permanence, sacrifice, and the human desire to be remembered and known.