I used to not like short stories too much, basically because when I enter a book, I want to enter one world and stay there for a while. But then I discovered a very likable genre--connected short stories. Three examples above, all really fabulous.
I just finished A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan, which is just as terrific and exhilarating as the reviews say. It pains me to read the complaints at Amazon from people who hate the "powerpoint" chapter. The powerpoint chapter is terrific. The whole thing is terrific. I should clarify: each chapter works as a short story, but the whole thing is actually a novel. The structure of the thing is much fun to contemplate. It's a sort of puzzle, solved in a very satisfying way at the end.
The goon squad of Egan's title is time, and time is the subject of the novel, in various ways. It beats people up pretty badly, but does other things too, good and bad. Which reminds me of a post about the passage of time I wrote when my kids were at the end of elementary school. I need that message again, because now they're at the end of junior high. Written on a bench in their elementary school's office: "The secret to life is enjoying the passage of time."
at 9:39 AM