Over at The Faster Times, I reviewed Kevin Sampsell’s memoir, A Common Pornography. You should read the review, and then go buy the book. In case my review isn’t enough, and you haven’t read anything by Mr. Sampsell, he has a story up at Fifty-Two Stories which is presented by Harper Perennial, the publisher who put out his book.
I’ll go ahead and spoil the review and tell you I absolutely loved the book, and read it back-to-back with another book put out by the same publisher that I loved equally as much, Justin Taylor’s collection of short stories, Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever.
I won’t get into specifics, because I believe a contributor is going to review the book for us in the near future, but I should mention that I’ve been working on a project that is involving me to read a lot of Isaac Bashevis Singer, and something he wrote for the forward of his collection of short stories made me think of Taylor’s book:
“Unlike the novel, which can absorb and even forgive lengthy digressions, flashbacks, and loose construction, the short story must aim directly at it’s climax. It must posses uninterrupted tension and suspense. Also, brevity is its very essence.”
Justin Taylor pretty much nailed that. I can almost guarantee that at the end of the year, both his book, and Sampsell’s, will be somewhere at the top of my “best of” list.