Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day by Ben Loory
Source:publisher for review
Synopsis (from Barnes and Noble)
Loory’s collection of wry and witty, dark and perilous contemporary fables is populated by people-and monsters and trees and jocular octopi-who are united by twin motivations: fear and desire. In his singular universe, televisions talk (and sometimes sing), animals live in small apartments where their nephews visit from the sea, and men and women and boys and girls fall down wells and fly through space and find love on Ferris wheels. In a voice full of fable, myth, and dream, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day draws us into a world of delightfully wicked recognitions, and introduces us to a writer of uncommon talent and imagination.
I stepped out of my comfort zone a little bit for Stories, and I’m rather glad I did. Stories is a compilation of (very) short stories, about 40 in all, that are mostly fables and parables with a few purely fantastical tales thrown in. One of the mistakes I made at first in reading it was reading the stories one after another, instead of one or two, here and there. They lose a bit of their potency when read all at once, but if you read them piecemeal, I think you get more out of them. Among the standouts is The Octopus, about an octopus that leaves his home in the ocean, and forgets what it is to be truly free; UFO: A Love Story, which is just plain sweet; The Shield, in which a man bored with daily life retreats into a fantasy land of knights and swords; and The Well, which is just plain creepy. These little stories are short, but they’ll make you think long after you finish them. The key word here is subtlety. You won’t find in your face violence or a “message”. The author leaves it to you to get out of them what you will, and I really enjoyed that. I found myself turning these little stories over in my head for quite some time after I finished. If you’re in a contemplative mood, and want something short, sweet, and sometimes creepy, you’ll enjoy Stories for Nighttime and Some For the Day.