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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
F*cking Argentina and 10 More Tales of Exasperation by Gregg Greenberg is a compilation of short stories that dive into the American phenomenon of being in a near-perpetual state of aggravation. Greenberg's anthology brings together eleven original pieces of work, each with their own slice of independent and distinct plot lines but all converging on the universal theme of exasperation. They run the whole gamut of scenarios, from the titular story F*cking Argentina wherein the country is once again in bankruptcy and a polite game of tug o' war plays out on a porch, to A Journeyman Tennis player's Prayer with a low ranking U.S. Open contender begging God for a comparable opponent. Both stories end with the superlative f-word, which showcases at some point in other stories, and a guaranteed chuckle from their readers.
F*cking Argentina and 10 More Tales of Exasperation is an intelligent and witty series of short stories that feel like the manifesto a phrase like “misery loves company” would write if it were a person. Gregg Greenberg latches on to both the ordinary and the extraordinary as he crisscrosses through the varied discord in all manner of class and culture to highlight the one truth everyone should be able to agree on: we're bloody well pissed off...but at least we can have some fun with it. My favorite story is A Side of Exasperation on the NJ Turnpike, a perfectly depicted few moments of pressure at the drive-thru that is essentially a play-by-play of every parent's experience. Where anthologies tend to do very well on the dusty plant stand between the toilet and a fresh roll of paper, this one will receive pride of place on the bedside nightstand. Very highly recommended.