Sunday, January 17, 2010
Ford County Stories
Slice-of-life stories from the Mississippi. All based in and out of Clanton. No twists. No surprises. Sheer curiosity may entice readers.
Most living in the cities may be curious to know what life in the small towns and villages may be like. Beyond what is shown in the news, and beyond what appears in glorified paeans to the rural life. This book provides a matter-of-factly look. That is its strength. Just don't expect twists in the tale.
However, some of the stories, in fact all of them, come to think of it, just end. They peter off to an ending. No unexpected twists.
The best of the lot has to be the first story, "Blood Drive", a hilarious travelogue of sorts to Memphis. "Michael's Room" is the story that you wonder - about what could have been had this story landed in the hands of Stephen King. The most disappointing has to be "Casino". "Fish Files" is where Grisham gets close to the familiar territory of lawyers and legal firms, but that too is almost incidental to the plot.
You will not get the satisfying endings, albeit at times macabre, that you get with collections such as A Twist in the Tale, No Comebacks, or the absolutely twisted tales in Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver. The gold standard, of course, has to be Roald Dahl - Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl.