Sep 18, 2005
Flying Leap, Judy Budnitz
This book was recommended to me by one of the other bloggers on here - ray.
I had been reading a string of fairly boring and totally not recommendable books, thus the lack of posts for a while, and this one finally broke that god-awful streak.
I love short stories, which this is a collection of. I love them 'cuz they cut to the chase, they mix it up, they are a bit raw - there's no time or space for slowly getting the reader acclimated to a character or a situation, it's sink or swim.
And what I love about this particular collection of short stories is that the author makes use of a style you see often with south and central american authors but not so much elsewhere. Fantastical realism. This is not to say fantasy, not at all. It's just that things happen that don't really happen in real life to sort of push people and expose their emotions and who they are through how they react. Like in the second story, the character's mother is dying and his aunts pressure him to donate his heart. The doctor pressures him, too, as does his girlfriend. And through that action we see what kind of crazy things people think and do.
I don't think I'm explaining this particularly well, which is sad because I really really loved most of these stories (I think some at the end of the book are a little dull). In fact, that story I was referring to earlier I actually recognized - it had been read on my all time favorite radio program ever - This American Life. (It's episode 256, Living Without, in case you want to hear it.)