Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book #49: Twisted. Delicious.

So far in my 100 book journey I have had a bad experience with books full of short stories because I instinctively want all the stories to come together ala Cloud Atlas or Forrest Gump or you know what I mean.

When a student assigned me this book I asked directly whether the stories connected.

He shook his head. No, they stand alone. They're good.

I believe him.

Before I am even halfway through with Game of Thrones I peek open this book and fall 20 pages into it's deliciousness. I feel like I came over to say hi and ended up in the pool. This never happens.  I love it.

Book #49 "Twisted," is a collection of short stories by Jeffery Deaver. 

 I loved this book right  from the introduction where the beloved best selling author admitted something I've known in my heart.

Short stories can be more fun and shocking to write because the readers are less invested in the characters.  In a great book you want the people to watch a character develop under circumstances that change them and bring redemption or damnation or something.  

Short stories bring no such contract between the author and the reader.  

They are pure stories, delicious tales carved from this and that, starting right in the middle of the action and ending at the perfect suspense point. Each story in this book is satisfying; each story makes me want more. I couldn't have asked for more.
I describe the book to my poor summer school students who have to see me every single day as "Have you ever met someone you can't stop talking to and now you realize how boring everyone else is? That's what a good book is like -- it's like meeting a great new person you can't get enough of...."

Faces lit up.

 In the quiet before I launch into WW1 I think  Thank you universe, thank you for great stories, thank you for an interesting life, thank you for this book, thank you for these students. 

After class I sit myself down in a corner leaning against a yoga ball and set a timer.

I give myself 2 hours to finish this book.

When the timer goes off I've already finished the book and written ten pages of ideas for short stories I'd like to write.

But before I can write those stories, before I can go on to Book #50, I write this up for you and pull book #50 off the shelf.