Friday, May 23, 2008

Bang Crunch

Short fiction by Neil Smith

Kudos to publisher Knopf Canada. This is a very nicely bound book with pages so soft I found myself caressing each page before I read it!

The nine stories here can not possibly be autobiographical given the diversity of circumstance and setting but they seem like true stories because Smith is marvelous at honing in on the essential details and delivering them powerfully with adept and responsible use of description, metaphor and simile, and because the perspectives are often so unexpected – sometimes quirky – that you’d think he must have really been there in order to have obtained them.

The dialogue is lively with many characters blessed with intelligence and wit – something only possible when the author is likewise blessed.

We catch these characters at pivotal times of their lives; facing unusual and challenging circumstances, often dire, which lends the collection a somber feel. But for the most part there is something to be quietly celebrated, for these are the moments in which the heroes gain insight and begin to learn who they really are. Pretty useful wisdom which many readers might take part in and benefit from.

Good stuff. Now to await his first novel.


Kathleen said...

I generally don't like short stories, because I feel like I'm missing pertinent details that came before or after...did you get that impression with these stories?

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

I didn't find that I was missing necessary details except for the one story I did not finish - it's written from the POV of a pair of gloves. This isn't really applicable to your concern though. The story just wasn't functional in my opinion.