Wednesday, September 29, 2010

RIP Read #11: New Release: Stories

Quick review today -- I'm swamped and falling behind in blog and life tasks!

Oh, how I wanted to love this collection of Stories, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio.  But of the 27 stories, I skipped ten of them after reading anywhere from the first page to the first half of the story.  Of the remaining 17, I thought one deserved a 5/5 rating and four deserved a 4/5.  That's only five stories that I really enjoyed and would want to read again.

The highlights were a story by Gaiman called The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, Samantha's Diary by Diana Wynne Jones and stories by three new to me authors -- Carolyn Parkhurst, Tim Powers and Kurt Andersen.  In the honorable mention category, Joanne Harris and Kat Howard's stories were strong threes.

There's plenty in this volume if you're looking for RIP short stories.  You can read about vampires, serial killers, evil twins, murder and more.  I found the overall collection to be a bit depressing and not extremely original.  In fact, there was one story that I could have sworn that I had read before but I think it was just extremely similar to one of the recent flash fiction pieces I read.  However, there will definitely be readers that look for something different in a short story than I do that will probably find much more to enjoy in this book than I did.  Please don't avoid it solely on the fact that I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to!

Keeping it short for the shorts,

Support our site and buy Stories: All-New Tales on Amazon or find it at your local library.  We borrowed a copy from the library.


  1. I'm usually not a short-story girl myself, but this year I've been reading some very good ones (Chekhov, Gaskell) that might make me change my mind.

    I'm ashamed to admit I never read any Gaiman apart from Good Owmens. A short-story collection might be just what I need to break the spell. Thanks for the review!

  2. I read this book back in July and had similar feelings towards it, though I wound up liking about half of the stories.

    You can read my review here if you'd like.

  3. I try to go into short story collections in a pessimistic frame of mind, so I won't be disappointed if I don't care for most of the stories. But I'll still see if my library has this, if only for the Neil Gaiman and DWJ stories. :D

  4. I bought this book as soon as it came out, but I've been putting off reading it for some reason. I'll look forward to new Gaiman, Wynne Jones and Harris, definitely. Thanks for the fair review!

  5. That is a pretty high ratio of "non-likes." But short stories are a tricky thing. I find myself feeling iffy about so many ... that is until I discovered Jhumpa Lahiri!

  6. I attempted to read this in September and I just couldn't get into it. I may try again someday, but for the moment I moved on to other things.

  7. Alexandra - Gaiman has a few short story collections that I would recommend rather than this anthology.

    Logan - Good to know that I wasn't alone in it.

    Jenny - I went into it very optimistic because of someone else's review.

    Celia - I'm sure you will like some of the stories!

    Jenners - Yeah, I was surprised to dislike so many of them.

    Kailana - I wanted to finish the book because it was due back at the library. I probably would have moved on if I could have just set it aside.