The struggle continues to keep my sanity in check both in work and out of it. Some very heavy reading of late has left me in the following situation… reading a Sophie Kinsella fluffy book (again, fluffy is said with love) and also dipping my toe into short stories again.
The last collection of short stories I read was Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlife by David Eagleman which completely blew my mind. The premise for the book was different than other short story collections mainly because the theme was rather rigid and they were all written by Eagleman himself. This was something I read about 3 years ago and haven’t gone back there for a while but I imagine the feelings would still be the same. My mind was blown. He is so imaginative in his afterlife tales and on the whole the book left me wondering… what if?
Yes, I am probably going to go home and read it again in one sitting. Beware friends, I will force this book on you if I didn’t last time!
Another collection I enjoyed featured and was introduced by Haruki Murakami, the author, and king, of Japanese Surrealism and all things jazz and running! I believe a friend bought me this for a birthday gift whilst I was at university due to my phase of reading a lot of his books (Dance Dance Dance or Norwegian Wood are my top two Murakami novels) – the title of the book being: Birthday Stories.
I really enjoyed the collection and it opened up short stories to me.
So here I am reading Six Shorts 2014: The Finalists for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Awards. It was made available on Amazon the day the short list was announced (which I missed, dramatically) which I think is such a wonderful idea! It gives everyone the chance to read them, have an opinion, share them and potentially look into other work by these authors! I am 3 in so far, one of them I loved, the two were pretty good and I may do a full ramble on each when I have finished the small collection.
The main thing for me with short stories is what is not said. The skill it takes to keep a story short, whether that is a full story or a snap shot in time, should be applauded. The key to a good short story seems to be to provoke thought, to let the reader wander off with what could or should happen after the full stop has dropped and nothing else is said by the author.
To wrap up:
Read short stories
Really really read Sum. It is magical.
I am still going crackers (and this is only okay if cheese is involved)