Daniel2's Reviews > Prayers to Broken Stones

Prayers to Broken Stones by Dan Simmons
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's review
Jun 12, 2013

really liked it
Read from May 01 to 09, 2012

Great read. Simmons has a more novel-as-short-story approach. There is a lot of movement and coloration where others prefer scene-based and quick motion narrative.

"The River Styx Flows Upstream" and "Vexed to Nightmare by a Rocking Cradle" and also "Iverson's Pits" are my favorites. Simmons is probably the greatest storyteller of the last 50 years. I believe he will be remembered as the greatest writer of the century.

I would like to note here though that NONE of these short stories would be published in todays faux-artistic world of short story publishing. These stories take patience and require the reader to move through scenes as one might observe them in real-time, all with a perfect balance of strangeness and true to character voice. Magazine editors currently (I'm hoping it's a fad) are almost exclusively interested in "idea stories" or what I call "What if" stories. There is no room anymore for philosophical subtext, clever description or even a puzzling split metaphor. Everything has to be understood by the common idiot. Everything has to be plain as day and to hell with double meanings or even single meanings, they'll be lost on the modern reader. It's sad that writers are almost forbidden to learn from or mimic the great writers. To do so is a direct path to rejection. Rather, there better not be any loopholes in your story about lawnmowers that come alive at night to feed on rascally garden gnomes. Never mind that you can't write worth a shit, and you couldn't spot a plu-perfect verb if it latched on to your only descended testicle.

Oh my, another one of my rants. Oh well.

It was a good book.
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