It’s not online, and I am loath to trample copyright by reproducing it in full, but here are some highlights of Gary K. Wolfe’s review, from the December issue of Locus:
In his first three novels, Irvine staked out a territory for himself as a dark fantasist of some of the more obscure corners of American history – early 19th-century New York, the exploration of Mammoth Cave, 1950s San Francisco, early baseball, World War II era Detroit – that seemed to locate him in a mythic American literary landscape somewhere between E.L. Doctorow and Tim Powers. It was an ambitious agenda for a young novelist, and what emerged most strongly from those novels was Irvine’s capacity for genius loci, for developing a powerful sense of immanence in unexpected settings. But as is often the case with story collections, Pictures from an Expedition shows us what he’s really been up to, and he has a few surprises up his sleeve.
Wolfe highlights “The Lorelei,” “Gus Dreams of Biting the Mailman,” and the title story before closing with the comment that the collection demonstrates “the eclecticism and ambition of an author who has a great many more dimensions, and perhaps a broader range of skills, than even his strongest novels have so far revealed.”