I’ve never been much of a short story reader previously. I’ve always preferred something meatier, longer, more satisfying.
Wow, I just re-read that line and cringed. But rather than re-writing it, I’m going to leave it as is and you let you have an immature little giggle like I did. 😀
But back to the point. I’ve always enjoyed novels far more than short stories in the past, and while my heart will always truly belong to the longer form of fiction, I’ve enjoyed quite a number of short stories recently. In the busyness of day-to-day life, there’s something quite satisfying about being able to start and finish a story on the daily commute. I really admire authors who are able to create believable characters and a compelling plot within the confines of a short story – those authors have word economy down to a fine art!
The two short stories I’ve enjoyed most recently are The Secret Life of Veal by Nick Earls and Labyrinth by Rachel Morgan. Below are mini reviews of the stories, to match their mini length.
Labyrinth is the second novelette in Rachel’s Creepy Hollow series, and it picks up right where Guardian left off. I won’t include too much about Labyrinth‘s plot in case you haven’t read Guardian yet, but you should really remedy that ASAP.
In Labyrinth, Vi’s confident, sarcastic yet warm voice bursts onto the page and we get to know Nate-the-human a lot better as things in Creepy Hollow get a whole lot, err, creepier. The title definitely suits the content of the story as I often didn’t have a clue which direction the plot would go. When the finale left me on a cliffhanger, I could have screamed, but only because I so desperately wished Book 3, Traitor, was already available. I’m now eagerly anticipating the news that Traitor has been released and can’t wait to see which way the series twists next.
The Secret Life of Veal
As an animal rights advocate, I approached this story with a degree of trepidation. And as I feared, it pays out on vegans. But honestly, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t not enjoy this tale. Nick Earls has long been a favourite author of mine because of his dry, depreciating sense of humour, and in The Secret Life of Veal, he delivers yet again.
Neither of the main characters are particularly likeable, but they’re both perfect fodder for snorts of laughter and rolling eyes. Nick has created two people who are so different but yet both so vile, they’re somehow perfect for each other. If you enjoy dry wit and characters you love to hate, this will be right up your alley.
How about you? Have you read either of these short stories? Do you like short stories or do you only have eyes for novels? Any other short stories you’d recommend?