Monday, September 26, 2011

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
Ben Loory
Published July 26th 2011 by Penguin
Source: Swapped
Loory's collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people–and monsters and trees and jocular octopi–who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day draws us into a world of delightfully wicked recognitions, and introduces us to a writer of uncommon talent and imagination. -Goodreads

This is my first attempt at reviewing a short story collection. I am a big fan of reading short stories because it isn't daunting at all to just read a couple of pages and have a feeling of completeness. In my opinion, the best short story writer is the great Stephen King. It is hard not to compare other collections to his work, especially if they are being marketed in the paranormal, fantasy, sci fi genre. It doesn't have to be scary like King's, but I feel his are the just the right length and the endings are almost always superb in their shock and awe value.

With that being said, it is completely possible that I am a bit bias towards those types of stories. What I loved about Ben Loory's short (and I mean SHORT) stories, are that they are extremely creative. Clever premises, talking animals, aware inanimate objects, and martians all find their place here. The stories had such great set-ups, most with the nice creepy element that I was expecting which did manage to create excitement in that short amount of time. Loory writes short, sweet, and to the point. However the big downfall to this collection is the endings.  One of the definitions of fable (and the one I feel was intended when calling these stories fables) is:

a short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters

The main issue I have with this is the fact that I couldn't really wheedle out any of the moral lessons that were being portrayed. Unfortunately, I felt that the writing was too esoteric, and the fact that most, of the 39 stories included, ended with me going, "What?", and that's not in a good way. I just didn't get it, plain and simple. I'm sure that there are plenty of others who got something from these stories, but I wasn't one of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I really love getting comments from you guys so take the time and show some love.