So, with the mad scramble after World Fantasy, I have been remiss in sharing some thoughts on great short stories. Here’s two that were clear knockouts.
Joe Lansdale, “The Stars are Falling,” STORIES. A wonderful story about a veteran returning from the Great War, to find that his family has changed . . . and so has he. A quiet tale of lost lives, but in Lansdale’s unique voice. So far, it’s the best story I’ve read in the collection. Pure gold.
Donald Ray Pollock, “Real Life,” KNOCKEMSTIFF. A brutal father/son story about violence and morals as a learned trait. The collection is first class and is sorta like Gary Braunbeck doing a lit grit version of Winesburg, Ohio. If you like Lansdale, Braunbeck, Larry Brown, Chuck Palahniuk, you will dig Pollock, a career pulp and paper working who got his MFA after thirty years in the industry. Tough, relentless, dark and yet human. One of the best reads and discoveries I’ve had all year.
That should keep you juiced until next week!