Samanta Schweblin’s Mouthful of Birds is a bewildering collection of dark short stories covering a range of human states, such as brokenness, violence, depression, and fear.
It is impossible to provide a general synopsis of Mouthful of Birds, as each short story stands alone and is completely unique. The stories cover various bizarre scenarios, such as a young girl inexplicably beginning to eat live birds whole or a man who desires greatly to bash others’ heads into concrete.
I equate this collection of short stories most closely with the Netflix series Black Mirror. The stories do not connect, and are not supposed to. They are, however, supposed to cause you to feel uncomfortable and confused and to question the reality of each story’s unique universe.
Please take caution while reading Mouthful of Birds if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Animal cruelty / death
- Violence / blood
- Death / dying
Mouthful of Birds is not for me. While the writing is intriguing and Schweblin has the ability to draw you quickly into each story, many of the stories have no discernible point or meaning. There are few moral undertones and few lessons to be learned from these stories.
The stories are intended to be unsettling and bewildering, of which they do a fantastic job. Unfortunately, I personally hate feeling that way, and so most stories did not resonate with me.
I don’t believe that Mouthful of Birds is a bad book; I simply know that I did not enjoy it. There is something to be said about such short and distinct stories holding attention and inciting lingering emotion. This is a short book and didn’t take much time to get through, so if you’re curious but not sure whether it’s for you or not, I would recommend giving it a shot.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on Mouthful of Birds. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!