Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Best American Short Stories 2008 ed. by Salman Rushdie

This series is one of my favorites. I've been collecting these short story compendiums since 1999. (Ten years, wow!) I used to buy them as soon as they came out, sometime in October of the year in question, but now I usually ask for them as a Christmas gift. In addition to the Short Stories collection, I also get the Mystery Stories and Non-Required Reading editions.

I read most of this book during the Read-a-Thon, and I found it to be ideal for that situation. Instead of trolling through a long tome in one voice, by one author, I had the ability to read several snippets in different voices, yet each telling a complete story.

These short stories really are the best of the best. The only one I didn't particularly care for was "Nawabdin Electrician" by Daniyal Mueenuddin. For some reason, Nawab didn't resonate with me. I didn't feel much when the story reached its climax, despite the action being intense! My favorite story was probably Steven Millhauser's "The Wizard of West Orange," a fictionalized (or is it?) telling of a Thomas Edison-esque (or maybe it was meant to be Edison? But he worked in Menlo Park...) inventor who came up with a machine, the haptograph, which could simulate touch, with astonishing results. Coming in second? "Vampires in the Lemon Grove" by Karen Russell. Unusual story, in a lemon grove.

This collection of short stories was a great way to spend a good chunk of the Read-a-Thon. If you are in any way interested in adding really good quality short stories to your repertoire, by all means, check this book out! Five out of five Whatevers, as usual.

1 comment:

Eva said...

Oh! I just remembered I have a short story anthology from the library (You've Got to Read This!). I might grab it for some variety. :D