book review: the eternal smile: three stories

Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim’s The Eternal Smile is a collection of three stories about layered realities.

Duncan’s Kingdom is a sword & sorcery tale of a young knight who is trying to win the hand of a princess, though he’s haunted by dreams of an older woman and a cola bottle. Gran’pa Greenbax and the Eternal Smile is about a greedy (to Scrooge McDuck kind of levels) frog who wants a pit of gold deep enough to swim in without hitting his nose on the bottom. When a smile appears in the sky, he builds a church to exploit it and further his dreams. Urgent Request is about Janet, who is a shy worker at a telecom company who responds to a Nigerian email scam when her request for more responsibility falls through.

All three of the stories start off as one thing and then once you’ve bought into the concept they change. And they’re all kind of beautiful.

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