I have written about the fascinating author Helen DeWitt four times over the past eleven years:
- On March 23, 2012, preliminary comments on The Last Samurai
- On September 2, 2013, an actual review of The Last Samurai
- On July 29, 2022, a discussion of books with linguists as major characters
- On March 18, 2023, a review of The English Understand Wool.
They say that third time is the charm, but what about the fifth time? Well, the verdict is mixed. DeWitt’s short story collection, Some Trick, is best described as “quirky,” as the title of this post suggests. You will like some of the stories, be puzzled by others, perhaps dislike a few more. You never know what you will find: a mathematical formula in the middle of one story, an actual computer program inside another. One amateur reviewer on Amazon observes that “neurotypicals might get confused.” They go on to say this:
I liked the sardonic, dry wit; I liked the acute observation; I like the celebration of the search for truth and the joy in the richness of ideas in the world and the dismay at the mass of people who just don’t get it. And I admire the portrayal of the dismal fate her protagonists endure at the hands of ordinary folk: an NT meets a world of sensors.
So where does that leave me? As an NT with a STEM orientation, I appreciated the book—not as much as The English Understand Wool and certainly not as much as The Last Samurai, but I definitely come down on the thumbs-up side. Your mileage may vary.