Thursday, December 17, 2009

Points of View

Points of View (1956) is an anthology of short stories I've had at my bedside for about a year now. The stories are arranged by point of view - Interior Monologue, Dramatic Monologue, Diary Narration, Subjective Narration, etc, which will prove uninteresting for those of us who have been reading for a while but might be interesting for young readers. There are, nevertheless, a few great short stories in it - A And P, by John Updike, which improves with every reading - really fantastic story about a young man working at the A And P in a tourist town. The eery The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, which I just heard for the first time myself on one of my podcasts (I forget, either New Yorker: Fiction or Selected Shorts, both are terrific and you should subscribe if you haven't already. I like to listen to them at night if I'm too tired to read with my eyes.) Jackson's story sticks with you long after you wish you had forgotten it!

I'd been reminded of Flowers for Algernon recently when I read Push. Rereading Daniel Keyes's story confirmed for me that there are some similarities in the two stories, although, of course, Precious is responsible for her own growing knowledge, not some artificial means.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this particular anthology, but I do love some of these classic short stories.

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