Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The trouble with short story collections

Oh, I do love a good short story and based on the one I have read so far, Laird Barron can sure write a scary, nasty one. I read Old Virginia (which you can read here) which features many of my favorite story elements: wicked scientists, the CIA, battered tough guys, an ancient evil and a surprise connection to a historical mystery. All of it written briskly and creepily.

Great that it started the collection the Imago Sequence. If he had led off with something weaker, I might not have persisted. With short story collections, I find that each weak story makes me read a little faster and I then miss the nuances and details that make short stories enjoyable, so I think a good story is weak and read a little faster. Pretty soon I have given up on the book. So what to do? In this case, Steve read it first and told me the stories to read and which to skip. That is my kind of friend.

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