If you aren’t a realist or a writer, or if you haven’t suffered major atrocities in your life then sure, these stories are depressing and it is more or less like, “So what?“. I find that most people, when reading are reading to escape the mundane and heavy existence reality brings. You’re not going to escape into any of these stories. You’re not going to smile or get physically excited or swoon from the sheer romance of these stories. The prose is sparse, the ends are open and if you’re a reader who can appreciate a bit of dense tightly written not TOLD to you fiction then you WILL NOT put this book down. It is wry humor in some. In other stories it is a heavy burden to carry the message of it because these stories are not meant to brighten your day. They are meant to inform, enlighten, enrich but in no uncertain way are they meant to entertain, not by today’s standards. So pass on this collection if you want a light hearted read.