Pooker's Reviews > Light Lifting

Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod
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really liked it
bookshelves: canadiana, short-stories

Christmas booty!

I asked for this book because everybody was raving about it. And for exactly that reason I was reluctant to read it.

I love short stories. They are my favourite thing to read. I'm not sure why. I'm just a self-indulgent reader not a critic. I don't have to know why something works or doesn't. I am often an impatient and totally undisciplined reader. I'll devour whole collections in a sitting, as if at a smorgasbord. I like to read a story from a new writer and be able to say, "Ooh, that was good. That writer has potential." And because I've been reading for more decades than I like to admit, I also like coming across something by that writer years later and being able to say, "Hey, I recognize that voice. Look how it has matured." And I especially like putting myself in the very capable hands of short story writers I've known for years. I know their voices. I know how they are going to manipulate me. Reading them is like comfort food for the soul.

So why didn't I want to read this book? Maybe, because I thought it just couldn't possibly live up to the hype. Maybe because I thought that the author couldn't possibly deserve it; he was just inheriting riches from his father. I dunno. But I definitely did start reading this book with a more critical eye than if I had just picked it up by chance.

I didn't gobble them up in one sitting; I read each story in separate sittings. And I'm left with the undeniable conclusion that this author, this book deserves all the hype they've been getting.

I loved all of these stories. At the core of each one is something quite ordinary, something that has happened to me or something I've wondered about, some person like someone I've known. A story doesn't have to have that, but I like it when it does. Perhaps these little core somethings are universal. I don't know, but they were familiar to me and grounded me to the stories.

I loved how each of the stories had something brewing underneath, something dangerous or sinister and I loved how they gave me what I call the "oh-oh moment" when the reader feels something shift and realizes things are not going to play out as they might expect.

I loved how each story came back to its beginning, making a perfect whole. You would never say about these stories, I want to know what happens next, they should be longer, or novels.

I was thinking that I was the last person on the planet to read these stories, but if I'm not and you haven't read them, do it.

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Reading Progress

January 3, 2011 – Shelved
January 3, 2011 – Shelved as: canadiana
January 3, 2011 – Shelved as: short-stories
Started Reading
August 12, 2011 – Finished Reading

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