Sunday, September 30, 2007

Short Story Sunday (and two book giveaways)

Wow-trying to visit all of the sites in the R.I.P. II challenge has been interesting; I have a feeling my blogroll's going to grow. I already try to read all of the reviews posted (of course, now I'm woefully behind), but there turned out to be quite a few blogs that hadn't posted reviews to the list. It was fun getting to see so many different styles of book blogging! Yes, I visited all the sites today; I was pretty much stuck in bed, so I alternately watched that documentary on the spelling bee (I was supposed to be watching a great Gregory Peck movie, but Blockbuster got confused), visited blogs, tried not to touch my nose (I got it pierced! not why I was bed-ridden), and read. I'm happy to report that I finished all my goals for September! Coming soon will a review of the summer quarter and a pile of books for October. :)

Before I get to the short stories, I'd just like to point out that there are a couple book giveaways going on right now. Superfastreader is giving away a copy of Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet. All you have to do is fill out a simple form (name, e-mail, website) to be entered, and it's open to the whole world until Oct 5. :) Then, Gentle Reader over at Shelf Life is generously offering an extra copy of The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. For this one, just leave a comment by October 2nd.

And now, without further adieu, this week I read "The Idol of the Flies" by Jane Rice and "Judgement Day" by Flannery O'Connor. They were both on the longish side, and I have no idea why the second one was included in a horror anthology.

"The Idol of the Flies" by Jane Rice

I've never heard of Jane Rice (one of only two in the anthology), but her story was very disturbing. Basically, this little brat named Pruitt makes the lives of all the adults around him miserable for no apparent reason other than evil. He finds out their weaknesses and then shamelessly uses them to bring about hurt and sadness. He has this odd relationship with flies as well. I won't tell you the ending, but this story was quite difficult for me to read. I don't like stories about people who deliberately hurt others; it makes me just too sad. It was well-written, however. My favourite passage in this one gives away the ending, so I won't share it here.

"Judgement Day" by Flannery O'Connor

As I said before, this one didn't really seem like a horror story at all. The weirdest it gets is a dream, but it's not like the dream comes true or anything! This was my first story by O'Connor, and I was very distracted by the constant use of the n-word. I know that this is an issue for a lot of people in her writing, and I expect that if I were to read a collection of her short stories I'd grow used to it, but as it was it felt like I got a little shock each time I read one. When I read, I hear my inner voice reading aloud in my head, which was what made it so difficult. Honestly, I can't say that I got a very strong impression of what the story was about with that constant distraction. Nevertheless, the writing style itself was quite strong, and I definitely plan on reading more of O'Connor one day.

Ok-I'm being a bit rambly tonight: probably the pain killers. Hope everyone had a good weekend!


Rhinoa said...

Well done getting to everyones blogs, I am still working through and really enjoying it. Hope the nose piercing is healing well, they can be a bit tempremental, and you are getting better generally. I know what you mean about the n word in stories, it's a little offputting somehow.

MyUtopia said...

"The Idol of the Flies" sounds super creepy. I don't think I will be picking that one up any time soon. Reminds me of the movie, "The Good Son"

Eva said...

Rhinoa, I think I might have gone through them all too fast. There are some that I definitely want to add to my blogroll, but I can't remember which ones! lol I've heard nose piercings can be tricky, so I'm doing everything the piercer told me to and just hoping to works out. Thanks for the good wishes. :)

MyUtopia, is that the on with McCullughy Culcon? (I think I just butchered that name...the kid from Home Alone) I saw a preview for that, and it looked scary.

Gentle Reader said...

Thanks for the link! Sorry you were stuck in bed :(