Short stories are little windows into infinite worlds, don't you think? At times heartfelt, at times reminiscent, at times difficult, this selection of contemporary shorts seemed to almost have it all. The world in small doses, each tale a different tone.
Diversity in topics: ★★★★★
So let's start off with a bit of truth from me to you--I am not a contemporary reader. I am a speculative, horrific, fantastical type of reader. I actively try to escape the bounds of this world with new ones (better ones?) and find little time left for stories of the everyday.
So why did I read this? There's no dragons, no horrors. There are only people and their stories. And they are so very grounded in reality.
Small Odysseys exists because of a different form of storytelling within the same vein—the Selected Shorts program in New York. Pre-pandemic, that program existed to bring to life short stories with the talented voices of trained actors and a live audience through the power of broadcasting. As Neil Gaiman himself states in the foreword, this was truly a delight for anyone interested in stories as it existed in the cross-section of literature, theater, and radio in a way that resonated with lots of people.
So because of that gem in our culture, we now have this short story collection curated Hannah Tinti, the brains behind the original concept.
Small Odysseys was truly a delight. As they're short stories, it's hard to describe them without giving too much of their contents away so I won't do any summarizing here. Some of my favorites included Un-Selfie by Aimee Bender and Bedtime Story by Victor LaValle.
Just dive in, like I did, and enjoy the ride.
Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
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