Simmons has written a collection of tales about misfits and losers. His characters in most of the stories are grotesques. Some of the stories have fantastical premises and yet they still come off as merely sad and surreal. There is little or none of that which makes the Upper Peninsula and its inhabitants unique, no sense of people or place, instead the stories could be set anywhere people continue to live tiny, little, circumscribed lives in their parents' basements. Each of the main characters in his stories is alone, even when surrounded by others, and their lives are disappointing and unsatisfying to them and, frankly, to read about as well. Oftentimes there are some stories in each collection that outshine others. In this collection, they are all fairly equally strange, mildly disturbing, emotionally desolate, and reeking of pretentiously experimental MFA program writing. Now, in the interest of fairness, every other review I've read of this slight collection has been rapturous but I have to admit that I read it (while sitting in the UP no less) with my nose wrinkled as I looked about me and sighed in dismay at the difference between what I wanted to have in my hands and what I actually did have in my hands.
If you read it, may your experience be better.