Kirsten's Reviews > The Best American Short Stories 2007

The Best American Short Stories 2007 by Stephen King
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Sep 29, 08

bookshelves: short-stories, read-in-2008
Recommended for: people looking for a fairly diverse collection of stories, leaning towards the morbid side
Read in September, 2008

I slogged through the first five stories in this book and was about to toss the entire collection away in disgust. Even the John Barth story was outright awful, and so I denigrated Stephen King's taste in stories and vowed to never buy this collection again.

However, round about page 85, I hit Joseph Epstein's "My Brother Eli" and things began looking up. In fact, every story after that point ranged from decent to really damn good.

The Gold Star Stories:

William Gay, "Where Will You Go When Your Skin Cannot Contain You?" - so unsettling and gloriously written that it changed my mood for the rest of the day

Lauren Groff, "L. DeBard and Aliette: A Love Story" - dreamy, poetic prose; the best kind of romance story - a little twisted, a lot fervent

Aryn Kyle, "Allegiance" - Okay, she lives up to her hype. Dammit.

Bruce McAllister, "The Boy in Zaquitos" - creepy science fiction, and like the best science fiction, all too near

Alice Munro, "Dimension" - perfect, as ever, and more riskily dramatic than the average Munro story

Karen Russell, "St. Lucy's...etc." - wonderful story; her collection is wonderful, too

Jim Shepard, "Sans Farine" - If you read one story this year about a family of executioners living and working during the French Reign of Terror, let it be this one.

So, all in all, that's seven outstanding stories and several pretty good stories I haven't mentioned. Surprisingly, I'd say that's my favorite Best American or O. Henry collection so far. Who would have thunk it. Hats off to you, Mr. King (and, of course, the editor in charge of the series).
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