Sunday, August 5, 2007

Collected Stories, by Peter Carey

Peter Carey's Collected Stories is an amazing collection of strange short stories by one of the best.

I first found Peter Carey when I happened upon My Life as a Fake, an elaborate tale that interweaved reality, fiction, and fantasy in an absorbing and fascinating way. I am not a fan of fantasy in general, but in the hands of masters like Carey and Garcia Marquez it becomes true literature.

This collection of short stories is at times really ugly, at others redeeming. Carey isn't afraid to spell out what some guts look like, and it just isn't pretty. The stories range all over the place, some of them ironic, horrifying, others flat-out funny. All contain bits of the impossible.

Consider, for example, the tale of the person who discovers that the map makers are drawing land that has simply disappeared into thin air, in an effort to convince the public that nothing is wrong. When the observer starts to see people thinning out...well, you really have to read it.

No comments: