In my final semester at school this year, I decided to take something I have always wanted to take and never had the chance to. A short story writing class. As part of this class we were required to also read and discuss a bunch of short stories. (This is partly why my reviews have been few and far between these past few months, too much other stuff to read). Since I really don't want some of these great stories to fall off of my radar, and thus yours, I figured I'd do a quick blog on all of them with a spark notes review on each and a way to find them should you so choose to pick them up.
Signs and Symbols by Vladimir Nabokov
| 3 Stars | fiction, family, cultural |
Synopsis: A family struggles with the decision of committing their boy to a mental institution, and after discussing their choice over his birthday gift, they decide to bring him home.
Review: The agony and pain this family suffers from with their decision is evident and their struggle is so well written it tugs at the heartstrings.
Recommendation: Cryptic and full of symbolism, a sad read that is well worth it.
Sea Oak by George Saunders
| 1 Star | fiction, family, fantasy, zombies |
Synopsis: A struggling family grieves over their self-created depressing lives and when their family matriarch passes a surprise visit changes their outlook on life forever.
Review: The abuse and lackadaisical attitude of this family is maddening and overused, that pair with the vulgar language and treatment of loved ones made it a difficult read.
Recommendation: If the language/themes do not offend you, the moral and theme of the story is sweet and profound making it worth reading if you can.
To Build a Fire by Jack London
| 3 Stars | fiction, survival, adventure |
Synopsis: A deeply compelling story following a man and his dog as they journey through the frozen north and struggle to survive.
Review: The mental journey that this man undertakes is just as interesting to read as his physical one.
Recommendation: The dark and twisted content is highly entertaining and as the characters continue on the read trudges along with them.
Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut