Monday, June 6, 2011

This Book Will Change Your Life - Stories V by Scott McClanahan.

Work. Travel. Read. More read. There you go. And there is reading, a lot, but not much travel recently, and no time to finish things when other things keep coming in and coming up, but then there are airplanes, and hotel bars, shuttles, and terminals, and there is read, and we are in West Virginia, and tomorrow night we will be Nerves of Steel with the Knabb and the Graham, and the McClanahan, and here in his home state, and so Stories V! had to be read, was read, and you know we love the Stories and Stories II, and if the former is comprised of McClanahanian near fables of a world we rarely visit or see on paper, and the latter more fable-like with its touch of mysticism and spirituality, albeit still McClanahanesque, Stories V! is yet something else, or not something else, but it is more personal on the one hand, a Scott that is more selfish, yet wanting and full of love. Or is it that we just know Scott better? Maybe? The Scott of these stories seems weirder though, which we like, because Scott does seem weirder than the guy we see reading or listen to on podcasts, and this weirdness is nice and humanizing, but again is this our own projection, or some need of some kind? Yes, maybe, sure, but then more than weird, these pieces feel like they are ready to be performed. And we know somewhere we read Scott talking about writing stories not for the sake of writing per se, but for the chance to perform, and that's how many of them feel, which yes, may be more projection. And so, why all this, this stream of consciousness, this riff and blurbage, because with Scott the question isn't whether the work is good, it is, always, or even maybe whether he's one of our best short story writers, he is, but making sense of what he does, story after story, as they blend together into one long narrative about a guy named Scott who we now think we know, and we might, because we know someone named Scott, and we know his stories, the ones he has shared anyway, and it's good, all of it, and it changes lives, ours, yours, his. Maybe. We think.

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