Monday, May 30, 2011
If I loved you, I would tell you this by Robin Black
Author: Robin Black
Recommended To: Short story lovers, people who like to cry on their back porches while reading, people with short train trips.
I was given this book by a dear friend who won in on GoodReads and thought I would enjoy it. She was right! This book is a collection of short stories all fiction and all written by Robin Black, who I've never heard of. When I googled her for an image, I got a punk rock band also called Robin Black, so my powers of deduction tell me that she's newish.
But, newness doesn't detract from this author's ability to create a story in just a few pages, hit you with a literary climax, and then teach you a less within 20 pages. She's incredible. Some of the stories are of course better than others, but that's true for all short story collections. Even my beloved Stephen King occasionally writes a less than perfect short story.
The best story is the title story in this book - "If I loved you, I would tell you this" is about an older couple - the wife has cancer, their son is in a mental institution for the developmentally disabled, and they have a neighbor who wants to build a fence on what they thought was their property line. I wept on my backporch while reading this story - and then I insisted that I read it aloud to Jon - just to make sure he actually heard the story. It was outstanding. Especially because Robin Black cultivates all of this emotion in 25 pages. Absolutely incredible.
If you love short stories, you should absolutely check out this book. It took me a while - because I'm incredibly busy and addicted to "Bubble Shooter" this game I found on my phone. So, instead of reading on the train, I usually play that. Don't judge - I'm on level 106 and going strong.
Pick up this book!