the pacific: and other stories by mark helprin
i'm really extremely tired of all these readers, or "so-called" readers coming in to the bookstore asking me for suggestions. and then i have to ask them if they read short stories. what? do you read fiction? well, then you read short stories!
all these people. "no", whiny tone, "...not really, i don't really get short stories." how can you not "get" a short story? it's only the highest freakin' literary form of fiction, my friends.
ok, but i digress. the point of this here particular rant is that mark helprin is not only a master of the novel, but, i have recently discovered, is also a true and pure writer of the short story as well. i recently finished the pacific: and other stories and it is now in my top five books of short stories.
stories like reconstruction made me believe in goodness again. the story, about a 9/11 widow and the contractor she hires to redo her apartment, is shockingly simple and untainted by cliched sentimentality. and perfection, the unlikely story of a young orthodox jew given a gift from god to save the new york yankees from seasonal despair renewed my faith - and i don't even have a faith. and jacob bayer and the telephone is a fable so pertinent to our times, we should all have to read it and think twice about the way we live our lives.
in short: 16 stories. all amazing. some genius. read short stories.