Saturday, September 10, 2011
Review: Stories for Nighttime and Some for The Day
4 Stars - Strongly Recommended
Ben Loory's Stories for Nighttime and Some for The Day demonstrates the power and beauty of the english language when it's stripped down to its very core.
He plays endlessly with our notion of reality; twisting it, turning it, bending it, burying it and digging it back up again. His stories are bred of magic and mystery, dreams and nightmares, fears and hopes. They are wonderful and frightening, all at the same time.
Many of his stories serve as cautionary tales: such as the man who has a public pool drained when he sees a monster swimming at the bottom, only to realize too late that he has released it of its prison.... or the octopus who sacrifices the quality of underwater living to live an eternally bland life on land.... or the woman who unintendedly increases sales of a book she despises simply by speaking out against it. They warn the reader to be careful of what you wish for, to curb your curiosity, to weigh your options carefully.
His collection reminds me of a darker, more twisted play on Aesop's Fables, in that his stories mostly seem to end on a bitter note. I say mostly because, with some of them, I am not always sure what sort of ending his characters were dealt. Though it is always clear.. I would not have done such things if I were you!
As I devoured each tale, many of which I read out loud to my eight year old son, I recall the feelings and thoughts they stirred within us. Quite a few of them resulted in mid-reading conversations, the two of us trying to determine what might happen to each of the characters as they moved throughout the story. Other times, as they ended, we would just look at each other, shrug, and move onto the next one.
Extremely well written and cleverly executed, with a gorgeous cover to boot, Stories for Nighttime and Some for The Day is a collection everyone should own. Young and old alike can find something to enjoy within the pages of this book. Bigfoot, aliens, and magical shields are waiting to share their stories with you... I'll let you decide which are best read under the cover of darkness, and which should be let out into the light.
Many thanks to Ben Loory, who so willingly shipped over a copy of his book for review!