This little tournament has force me to read the volume of Bret Harte’s Gold Rush era short fiction C.J. and I bought a few years back while visiting Nevada City, California. I’ve enjoyed them. They are old-fashioned stories. Mr. Harte does have fine characters but the plot is really where it’s at with his work. I’ve enjoyed them all and I enjoyed the two I … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories: Bret Harte vs. D.H. Lawrence and Leo Tolstoy
This post is more of a ramble than a rant, so don’t worry. It’s been a busy week, getting ready for the 20th anniversary party C.J. and I threw yesterday, so there have not been many posts here lately. I’m hoping to have a good amount of down time today, enough to relax and get a bunch of robo-posts ready for the week. Some I’m … Continue reading Sunday Salon: Catching up with This Week’s Reading and Lionel Shriver Wears a Funny Hat.
I hope Kelly Link won’t be mad at me. Kelly Link has had several stories featured on my favorite short story podcast, Podcastle. If you’re a fan of fantasy/science fiction or just a fan of good, entertaining stories, you should be subscribing to Podcastle. I loved her featured zombie stories “The Hortlak” and “Some Zombie Contingencies Plans” neither of which is really about zombies. So when I … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories: Kelly Link vs. Raymond Carver
I never thought it would come to this. It’s not like I don’t still love Haruki Murakami. I do. Maybe not like I once did– maybe the honeymoon is finally over, though it lasted many years. Many, many terrific writers essentially write the same story over and over again. Some put the same narrator into slightly different situations but basically repeat themselves each time they … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories II–Murakami vs. Hardwick or “Goodbye, Haruki!”
Sometimes, it’s just not fair. I picked up a copy of Prize Stories 1995 from The O. Henry Awards somewhere, I don’t recall, probably a library book sale, thinking it would be fun to add a random assortment of good stories to my tournament. O. Henry Award winners, I thought, they’re probably all good.” So far they are. I read two for this round: “The Women … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories: Randall Jerrell’s Book of Stories vs. The O. Henry Awards 1995.
This week in a stunning, surprise upset victory Bret Harte’s “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” and “Miggles” defeated Ernest Hemingway’s “Three Shots” and “Indian Camp.” I call this an upset victory because I am a big, life-long fan of Ernest Hemingway. Yes, I know. Don’t bother going there, I know all about it. And I’m still a big fan. I’ll go to my grave arguing that all American fiction, … Continue reading Bret Harte Defeats Ernest Hemingway – Tournament of Short Stories II
Yesterday, I came up for air after falling into a Trump/Clinton news coverage hole where I’d lain for several days alternating between stunned staring at the television and borderline hysterical laughter long enough to spend a couple of hours reading. Since the last book I read was basically over my head, I decided to go for a more straightforward detective story. Sun And Shadow by Ake … Continue reading Tournament of Short Stories II: Charles Chesnutt vs. Patrick Ryan
Two young men arrive at the home of a peasant woman. We hear you know many stories, they say. Will you tell them to us for the book we are writing. What follows is a wonderful collection of four stories, each perfect for the Brothers Grimm. Stories left out of their collected tales you might say. Two are set in places that seem very like … Continue reading Mother Tongues by Theodora Ziolkowski
The detective arrives in a small seaside California town looking for a missing girl. Her mother is very concerned. Concerned enough to hire him. He is soon over his head; caught in a crime syndicate that includes the beat cops, the local police chief, a psychiatric hospital, an offshore gambling boat, and a pair of bank robbers. Chandler country in other words. I kept thinking of … Continue reading A Short Story Omnibus: Raymond Chandler and Samantha Henderson
For this the first battle in round one of my second tournament of short stories I read three from Bed by Tao Lin and three from Get in Trouble by Kelly Link. While I knew Kelly Link going into this from stories featured on Podcastle, I picked Tao Lin off of the shelves at Skylight Books in Los Angeles at random. I liked the cover art; I confess. I enjoyed … Continue reading Tao Lin vs. Kelly Link — Tournament of Short Stories II
My little tournament of short stories came down to the final round this weekend–a match up between Francis Wyndham’s The Ground Hostess and Raymond Carver’s A Small, Good Thing. Because, after quite a few rounds of reading, both Mr. Wyndham and Mr. Carver have become two of my favorite authors, I had no idea who was win going into the final round. I love them both. I … Continue reading Raymond Carver vs. Francis Wyndham
How someone who is not really part of your life can be such a large part of your life. Francis Wyndham won the latest round in my little tournament of short stories, defeating two stories from African Writing Today. It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get around to writing this post–I’ve forgotten the African stories completely. I do remember that I liked them, … Continue reading “Jack” and “Ursula” by Francis Wyndham