The next installment of “Short Books for Busy Readers” is here!
In this collection of short stories, Brian Doyle pulls together fun snippets of fiction on a variety of unique and creative story topics, from the sad yet hopeful story “The Cuckold 10K” to the darkly funny “King of the Losers.”
Doyle uses flowing text to allow his characters to express themselves, occasionally ignoring grammatical conventions like periods and commas. Though sentences occasionally become paragraphs, this is skillfully done; the result is wonderfully expressive rather than confusing. While reading sections written in this way, I had a mental image of the author creating art with his words, as an artist does with her paints. The combination of semi-stream of consciousness style and sparse amounts of dialogue make the author’s voice feel intimate and authentic, drawing the reader into the character’s world for a few brief pages.
I must admit that I didn’t care for the first story in this book, the one for which the collection is named–it felt forced and over-the-top in a way that the others didn’t. However, I liked nearly every story afterward, so I hope you will, too.