Reviewing short story collections is HARD! They just don’t stay in my head for very long. Some are good, some are usually not so good. But inevitably they just disappear from my mind.
I know that I have read a few good collections recently - Joyce Carol Oates’s ‘The Female of the Species,’ ‘The Redemption of Galen Pike’ by Carys Davies, ‘A Scandalous Woman & Other Stories’ by Edna O’Brien, and for the most part I can recall some stories from each of those that impressed me. Then there are other collections which I think ‘oh, this is rather good’ while I’m reading, but when I finish I am not really left with any lasting impression, only the memory of thinking ‘this is rather good.’ Anyone know what I’m talking about?
I read this collection over the course of a few weeks, and while I enjoyed individual stories I’m hard-pressed to remember any other than the title story without picking it up and looking at the contents page, which I’m not going to do, mainly because the book is now in another room.
Did I enjoy reading the stories? Yes.
Can I remember them? No.
Did I dislike any? No.
Will I continue to read short stories? Of course!
All of this makes me wonder how other people read short stories? Is it something you enjoy? Or steer clear of? Do you have difficulty remembering them? Do you value short stories as a form?