Sunday, September 26, 2010

They were not used to asking much, they had had practice.

A.S. Byatt did an awesome job at Possession, and this little book caught my eye at the library. These five short stories were all easy and interesting reads, some feeling more like modern fairy tales.

"The Thing in the Forest" was one of the ones that seemed so much like a modern fairy tale or scary story. It just starts out beautifully: "There were once two little girls who saw, or believed they saw, a thing in the forest." Simple yet hooked me right away. They share this wonderful and horrifying experience and then reconnect after years of separation.

"Body Art" was a little more realistic and a little longer, about a doctor who has a complicated relationship with an art student.

"There was a man, who had been dying, and then dead. And there was an idea of who he was, which was a dream, which was a poem, which was a moral cage, which was a film over a clear vision of things."

"(for Torfi Tulinius) is beautiful. A woman's mother dies and then she begins to discover that her own body is transforming into rocks and minerals. This is a slow process that has her body evolving every day. She goes in search of a final resting place, and instead finds her way to where she belongs.

"...a necklace of veiled swelling above her collar-bone which broke slowly through the skin like eyes from closed lids."

"Raw Material" is another more realistic story about a creative writing teacher and the writing of one student that captivates him. The ending is shocking and unexpected, and delightfully unresolved.

"The Pink Ribbon" is a bit of a mix between the more fantastical stories and the realistic. A man is caring for his wife who has pretty severe brain damage and he hallucinates - or does he - a woman who comes in and visits him at night.

I love a good book of short stories and this one was wonderful. Each was interesting and fantastical and the whole book flowed together very nicely. Short story lovers - get your hands on this!

No comments:

Post a Comment