Friday, January 16, 2009

Short Stories

Every time I finish reading a novel I will read a short story. I began this process about 8 years ago because I found myself never reading any short stories at all. It's not that I mind reading them but I dislike reading many short stories in a row. order to actually read some, particularly those collections that I already had sitting on my shelf, I started this process. Right now I am reading Jeffery Deaver's More Twisted: Collected Stories, Vol. II. I picked up this volume during my family's Alaskan Cruise this past year. We had on-board coupons to use for merchandise and I used most of mine to pick out a few books from their very limited supply. I've wanted to try Jeffery Deaver for quite some time but have been so focused on whittling down my large "to-be-read" pile that I just haven't acquired any of his works.

The cover marketing on this book emphasizes the twists that Mr Deaver is famous for. That may be true but so far (I've finished 3 stories to this point) they have been a bit more predicatable than I was expecting. I enjoyed the second story, "The Commuter" quite a bit, releashing the protagonist's falling victim to his own arrogance. But I could see that coming from the beginning. The "twist" was more about how it would happen than the fact that it did happen. I think I was expecting a bit more Jeffery Archer style stories perhaps. The third story, "The Westphalian Ring" was a pretty good read but (**SPOILER ALERT**) I disliked the way Sherlock Holmes was presented at the end. Yes, I also get perturbed from time to time when Sherlock picks out all of the clues by cursory examination and concludes "facts" that could have led him in an altogether different direction. I think Deaver is making fun of this here but somehow it violates a cardinal rule of published fiction: Don't mess with other author's characters by making them look stupid, particularly such well-loved classic characters as Sherlock Holmes.

Right now it's on to the the third "Repairman Jack" novel, Conspiracies. So far it's great!

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire