A couple of recent collections by favorite living authors.
Get In Trouble by Kelly Link
It’s been quite a while since we had a new collection of short stories by Kelly Link, and these stories certainly live up to expectations.
The stories in this collection are fantasies, usually based in contemporary life. Well, seriously and strangely twisted contemporary life. Ghost stories, private lives of superheroes, and lots of odd magic/technology. Highly imaginative (how does she think of these things?) and well told.
This sort of tale is not necessarily my cup of tea, but Link is so good at it that I really like it.
The thing I like most about Link is that the story is always about how humans adapt to and live with strangeness. We meet interesting people striving to get by, understand, and love each other, despite what the universe(s) may throw up. This is often sad as well as strange.
But under all the strangeness and sadness, there is humor and love and humanity and maybe joy. What else makes life worth the pain?
Live Right and Find Happiness by Dave Barry
Perennial humor writer Dave Barry gives us another batch of short essays about life, travel, and finding happiness.
Don’t let the title fool you, this isn’t ‘happy talk’, it’s Dave’s own brand of commentary: sharp observation of contemporary life coated with nice guy, goof ball silliness.
In his retirement he has been travelling, so we are treated to stories of his trips to Brazil for the World Cup and to Russia for cultural exchange. This is a nice change from the “I’m not making this up” stories about crazy Miami.
Personally, I am quite happy to have Dave Berry represent American culture overseas. His writing is both honest and humane, “not making this up” and still making us laugh at ourselves. Who better to show the world who we really are?
Overall, this book is exactly what you would expect from Mr. Barry.
- Dave Barry, Live Right and Find Happiness, New York, G. P. Putnam Sones, 2015.
- Kelly Link, Get In Trouble, New York, Random House, 2015.