20th Century Ghosts
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rating: 3 of 5 stars
July 28, 2008
Finished this afternoon.
Meh. A few stand-out stories: The Cape, Voluntary Committal, Last Breath, but for the most part, it’s a collection of short stories that run a lot too long, and aren’t necessarily horror but don’t quite stand up to the dread or unease that some collections could be chalked up to.
Stories like The Widow’s Breakfast, Bobby Conroy Comes back From The Dead, Pop Art, while sweet could have been saved for a different collection. You wait for the payoff, and then the story just ends. Personally, internal relationship strife doesn’t make me uneasy or dreadful. In fact, despite how well-crafted, I find it boring.
I enjoyed Heart-Shaped Box, and I was curious as to what his shorter fiction would read like. Frankly, it reads like short fiction that asipres to be much longer. Some of the stories in this collection tease you with the premise, and then take pages and pages to get to, right to the point that you forget what the story’s about. Voluntary Committal was like that – it could have been shorter by several thousand words. The story you’re teased with and the long backstory you sit through to get to the story you’re teased with are disproportionate.
July 24, 2008
I’m about half-way through, and while I want to like this, some of the stories are really, really wordy and end abruptly. There’s no question he has grace with his pen and the images he invokes can be startling, but he’s new at this and I think he has his father’s literary elephantitis, and some of the stories could be pared down and the ideas brought out more.
I’ve been clicking around on reviews and while some people exclaim it as “teh best thing EVAR”. At this point in the game, I cannot.
Currently listening to “In The Rundown” and it seems the buildup to that point has been, well, pointless.
Honestly, it could be the reader, David Ledoux, who is inconsistent in the narration. I couldn’t find much about him online, like how long he’s been at this or what else he’s done, and what I have found just points me to other projects. Not terribly helpful.
I’m working my way to “Voluntary Committal”, which I hear is the highlight of the collection.
Nice group of stories, but no need to pass the mantle yet.
July 22, 2008
Just downloaded this morning and listening now.