A Storied Week – Week Four

A Storied Week

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The fourth week of the year is over, that also means the first month of 2014 has come to a close. I’m surprised I made it this far in the challenge. So far I’ve read and talked about 20 stories here on A Storied Week. I am still finding it to be a great idea to write down my thoughts after reading each story, and I hope you’re enjoying what I have to say (even if at times, it’s not much).

This week, I didn’t really pick anything to focus on. To be honest, week 4 was the hardest week in the challenge, to date. It wasn’t that I had a lack of stories to read or a lack of want in accomplishing the task. It was just a busy week in the later half. I normally hold off on the short story reading until Wednesday. That was almost my undoing, haha. Luckily, with two new release poss for today, I allowed myself to finish the challenge today (Saturday), then post it later in the day (around 10pm, haha). I hope to be finished by Friday next week, and get a normal post out. We’ll see.

In other news, there’s a great new novella written in verse, that I read as well. It was one of the new releases today. It’s called My Heart’s Choir Sings by Maureen Flynn. She’s a poet, like me, but might be even better 😉 Go check out more. I’ll have a review sometime next week, I’m sure. It’s just one of those poetry collections that I need to read at least a second time in order to formulate a good reaction.

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Death’s Masquerade, by Rod Serling

Most people know about the Twilight Zone as a TV series, and if you haven’t watched any episodes, you probably at least know that the episodes center on strange occurrences.

This is a short story in a collection that has been adapted from Serling’s series, and because of that, maybe why the story had less of an effect on me. It was a good story, but it was predictable. I do think it’d have worked better on screen. There was a lack of description, that, while allowing a reader to imagine things, doesn’t aid in stimulating the imagination as much as stories like these, of the Twilight Zone, could.

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Finding Elliott, by Lori Meckley

(review originally posted here)

Finding Elliott is a children’s story, and I admittedly don’t read many. Knowing that Meckley’s work is mainly for an adult audience, the curious reader in me had to take a look at Finding Elliott.

Everyone has had some object or person in their life that brings feelings of comfort and security, at least at some point in life. This is especially common for children. This is one way this story can help readers of all ages grow attached to Miles and Elliott’s relationship and the rough day they had.

Meckley’s writing is simple enough for a child to read this on his/her own (sorry, I’m not good at assuming a good age for reading on their own) or to have it read to them by an older reader. I think that’s a strong part of the story as well; it can bring a family together for a few minutes of reading time.

This may not be the happiest of stories, but I feel the emotions it touches on help build up to the ending. I don’t feel it’ll be too disagreeable to a child reader.

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The Sexes, by Dorothy Parker

I’m not sure how to feel about Parker’s short story. The story is almost entirely dialogue between a man and woman. It’s filled with misunderstanding between the two, but also with me misunderstanding the story. Parker wrote this with a strange language, even though it’s in English. I’m not sure if this is intended to bring a message across that the sexes communicate together with difficulty, or maybe I’m just out of touch with the jargon of the time this was written for.

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You Were Perfectly Fine, by Dorothy Parker

Unlike that last Parker story I read, this one was amusing and I was able to understand it. Basically, a woman is recounting the previous night’s outing to her boyfriend, who’s suffering from a hangover and can’t remember anything from the night.

As the story goes on, the woman builds up more and more of the man’s drunken misadventures, and leads up to the real kicker. It’s only implied, but there was a romantic cab ride that night and the man said something special to her. His reaction is what really amused me, and how he just goes along with it.

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Dance in America, by Lorrie Moore

This is one of those stories that doesn’t exactly go anywhere when it comes to plot. Instead it explores the characters and a theme by throwing information at the reader.

I’m not a reader who always “gets” a story like this, but I still found it to be enjoyable and it had some fun characters. I enjoyed Moore’s writing, so I’m hoping that by reading more of the collection, I’ll pick up on what’s being said, easier.

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Have you read any short stories this week? Do you know of any short stories to suggest to me or my readers? Feel free to share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments on this post or more privately through the contact page, if you want you’d like to type something longer up.

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