Signals: New and Selected Stories
If you are someone who dislikes short stories, this book was written especially for you. Generally, people make up their minds that short stories tend to run together, making each one indistinct. Since they come from the pen of the same writer, sometimes the stories are jumbled. Not so in this book. Each story is distinct, clearly told, and highly original. Generally, in reviewing books, I can read right through any collection. Not so with this book; after each story, I needed to close the book and reflect on the story, the characters, and the beautiful writing.
And I am not just writing a glowing review based on the implicit threats in the short story “The Review.” In that remarkable story, a writer becomes obsessed with the negative online review of his book. It is an intriguing story and one that is sure to give any reviewer great pause. Also, only a Catholic could tell the story of the Catholic priest who has a few too many and is called out to perform the last rites. Like the priest and the writer, these stories are about unusual characters who generally are overlooked as heroes in stories. If you love great writing, run to get this book and buy copies for all your friends.