36th out of 146 books — 103 voters
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Sara Levine's "Short Dark Oracles" is a great little book of stories. Short enough to read in a single afternoon (or about two plays of M83's album "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" depending on how fast you read), there are peaks and valleys in these stories. It is just like any short story collection: you have some of those stories you like, some you don't like, and some you just don't get. There is more of the third category in this collection, but this does not put a damper on this collection. The...more
Sara Levine is a writer who thinks beautifully, who with a little turn of phrase takes you outside the logic with which you are comfortable, and exposes the inner working of her fictional world to the reader. Reading this collection is like looking out your window, and instead of seeing the scenery, you see the fabric from which the scenery is woven. The stories are written with the perfect ratio of mirth ("So there I was, with this friend of mine who was not a friend but who behaved like a frie...more
This is a powerful set of stories coming at questions of self-invention in a number of ways. In one story it's an unflattering past haircut (and the mother responsible for it) by which a character defines herself, clinging perhaps self-indulgently to that ugly identity even when it is upstaged by the ability of those around her to rise above their own damaged bodies. In others characters know themselves by the presence, absence, and discomfort of their own children, or (in the title story) by th...more