Light Reading (Not!)

I know it looks like I read a fair amount this week. I really didn’t, seeing as the last bunch of stories were flash. So, here’s the roundup.

The first two are from the collection Report to the Men’s Club (from the local library, but I just ordered my own copy).

“Grandma” by Carol Emshwiller. A nice tale that took its time getting to the SF/F element, but was well worth the wait. Not your standard plotted story; it seemed more like a series of vignettes and flashbacks skillfully arranged into a narrative. 5 out of 5.

“The Paganini of Jacob’s Gully” by Carol Emshwiller. You just need to read this! Just do it! It is without a doubt the absolute fucking best lit/genre-blended love story I have ever read! 5 out of 5!

“The Rookers” by Bobbie Ann Mason. Another piece from Shiloh and Other Stories. I’ve took my time reading this one, remembering how well-crafted I remembered the story “Shiloh” was. “The Rookers” didn’t disappoint. Her character and setting descriptions are proof positive that “minimalism” doesn’t mean “2,000 words or less.” While the ending wasn’t as shocking as the one in “Shiloh,” it made me think just as hard. 5 out of 5!

I don’t know why I waited so long to get a copy of The Girl on the Fridge. That was just dumb. Before I knew it, I read these stories in one sitting during my lunch break one day…

“Asthma Attack” by Etgar Keret. Not a story, but it’s the piece that sets a metaphorical rationale for the economic for the economy of word use in rest of the book. Very, very nice. 5 out of 5.

“Crazy Glue” by Etgar Keret. Another valuable lesson for me that fantasy doesn’t have to mean magic and such. 5 out of 5.

“Loquat” by Etgar Keret. Another story involving a grandmother, this is simultaneously a piece on the socio-political complexities of Israeli daily life and on the lengths anyone, anywhere might go to for family. 5 out of 5.

“Hat Trick” by Etgar Keret. Definitely loved the “gonzo magical realism” thing this story had going. Wasn’t too big on the non-ending ending, well-written as it was. 4 out of 5.