So folks, I have been reading (okay, Iâ€™ve been reading and playing with kittens) for two hours now, and Iâ€™ve made it through several short stories. In brief, here are my reviews:
1. â€œWhat You Pawn I Will Redeemâ€ in Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie – A great story. Very honest, a bit funny . . . full of great voice – the narrator is wonderful and the story heartening but not sentimental. Great read.
2. â€œDrinking Coffee Elsewhereâ€ by ZZ Packer – Honesty out the ears here. Another great narrative voice. Excellent use of pacing for a subtle and largely interior story. Also Packer establishes a wonderful sense of place.
3. â€œThe Catbird Seatâ€ by James Thurber – I have never read Thurber before, but this was a wonderful way to start. Such a delightful plot with a great twist that seems to unlike the narrator – which of course it the point. The antagonist is subtly awful and wonderful.
4. â€œWhy I Live at the P.O.â€ by Eudora Welty – The use of dialect and dialogue here carries everything. Such a great depiction of a family only through their word choice and their conversations. A touch of mystery and a great dysfunctionality.
5. â€œWhich Is More than I can Say about Some Peopleâ€ by Lorrie Moore – Everyone raves about Moore, and I can see why. She has a great ability to describe things with few words. Take, for instance, how her characters in this story â€œslept lumpily.â€ Excellent stuff.
All in all, a good set of stories. I have Carverâ€™s â€œA Small Good Thingâ€ left to read, and Iâ€™ll work that in amongst books later. Back to the reading.