Wax Boats: A week ago

                                     

So the whole point of this blog was to help me remember the books I read, because I have been known (on occasion) to forget the books that I read. So it is with some regret that I report that I finished reading Sarah Robert’s short story collection Wax Boats about a week ago, and in the time between finishing it and (finally) having the time to write this, I have forgotten a lot of the salient details I had planned to comment on.

What do I remember? What can I comment on?

There are some good animal stories in this collection?

Umm. I liked that several of the stories featured reoccurring characters (I expect Roberts is hard at work on a novel, as many of the stories and the cycle of characters lend themselves well to a longer work), though I might have liked these stories to be properly linked – perhaps under one title? – rather than interspersed among other stories in the collection, which led to some unnecessary thematic jostling.

There’s a really great story about a Boy Scout camping expedition gone wrong “Hammersmith” that is well worth getting the collection to read. I’m not sure I’d extend the same recommendation to the rest of the collection, as my already fading memory suggests the stories were good, but not great. With the exception of ‘Hammersmith,’ which asked what kinds of bravery are possible, and what we owe one another in small – self-sustaining – communities. It would be a really good story to put on a Canadian lit comprehensive exam list, or a course on Canadian literature, if, for some reason, you found yourself in the position to be writing either of those things.

I promise to never let a week go by between finishing and blogging again. For all our sakes.

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Filed under 100 Books of 2011, Fiction, Short Stories

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