Thursday, May 11, 2006
Well, if you want to feel a bit uncomfortable.
So I didn't plan on reading this, but then Kip had such a violent dislike for it, I simply had to. A bit contrary, I realize. I don't read a lot of short stories. At first I was going to respond here with a simple and dismissive 'whatever' and post the picture, but I do think that this deserves more of a response than that. The first, and most noteworthy, story was rending. It was painful and poetic and perfect. The author is unafraid of the dirty, uncomfortable, true endings - sometimes to admit that barring death, life doesn't end, whatever trial the characters went through, whatever epiphany reached, in every instance you can see how these people/things will keep struggling toward the finish - they really were living, dimensional portrayals in such limited space. She may never go back to these stories for expansion - most do not need it (a couple would be interesting to see), but you will remember at least a few of them.
That all said, I was oftentimes bored. Some of the stories captured my attention, but I also frequently found myself with wandering attention. After reading a couple reviews just now, the one I had the most difficulty with apparently had elephants as main characters. Yeah, I had no idea what the heck those creatures where. Ants? Monkees? The most engaged I felt in that story was the few moments I tried to figure out what they were before giving up. It was late. I might have missed something. Probably something very obvious. I wasn't feeling the need to expend genuine effort. It was good writing, just not really my thing for the most part.