28 August 2011

Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

If you are looking for a book of short stories that are eerie, dreamy, whimsical, strange, unsettling, and sometimes just plain weird have I got a book for you!

Ben Loory's collection of stories, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, has a little something for everyone.  The tales range from the very short ("The Shadow") to much longer ("The Graveyard").  One is an homage to Ray Bradbury.  One reminds me of Stephen King.  A few remind me of Roald Dahl or Philip K. Dick.  "The Hat" reminds me of Gogol.

One ("The TV and Winston Churchill") made me laugh.  A lot.  It's my favorite.
As a bookseller, I found "The Book" meaningful in a time when we debate the future of books and literacy.

I read this with my friends from the bookstore and, through the magic of Kat's enthusiasm, we got to Facebook chat with the author.  It was a really nice hour or so - slightly complicated by needing to dictate our questions to Kat who was serving as amaneuensis - where we talked about influences, his imagery, and how much we all liked the cover.  Then Ben dropped an interesting tidbit - he really hadn't wanted to include "The TV", a longer piece that is included in an appendix at the back of the book.  There is a note saying it was included at the request of the publisher, even though it wasn't part of the same project that produced the other pieces, but I hadn't thought too much about it.  It is a different piece, stylistically, and it contrasts with the rest of the book.  I liked the story, and was glad to read it, but I got the feeling Ben wished he had fought the publisher/editor more to keep it out.  I can understand why the publisher would want to - this is a thin book already, so the inclusion of "The TV" added a few more pages at the end - but it does contrast a bit too much with the other stories so perhaps wasn't necessary.

For another perspective on Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, Goodreads users need to go read my friend Kat's review.  She wrote it as an homage to the author.  I think it's lovely.

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