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Big Dark Hole: Stories (2021)

de Jeffrey Ford

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
448487,990 (3.85)5
Previously published asNorth American Lake Monsters. Monsterland is a new anthology TV series from Hulu based on Nathan Ballingrud's striking, bleak, and luminous debut collection, starring Kaitlyn Dever, Kelly Marie Tran, Jonathan Tucker, and Taylor Schilling, and more. Ballingrud's Shirley Jackson Award winning collection of gothic and uncanny stories investigates the loneliest and darkest corners of contemporary American life. Ballingrud's stories are love stories. They're also monster stories. Sometimes the monsters collected here are vampires or werewolves. Sometimes they wear the faces of parents, lovers, brothers, ex-wives--or the faces we see in our mirrors. The people in these stories, ex-cons, single parents, unemployed laborers, kids seduced by extremism, are stranded by life, driven to desperate acts by love and a longing for connection. Sometimes they're ruined; sometimes redeemed. They are always recognizably, wonderfully, terrifyingly human, even at their most monstrous.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Overall this collection is solidly built, no prominently weak stories detracting from the others, neither any story eclipsing the others with its personality or imagination. Finishing it, my impression was the Weird worldview underlying all of them was stronger collectively than in any single work, and tracing the thread of Weird among the different stories was rewarding in a way no story was in itself.

Alongside that thread of Weird is a strong sense of place, the midwest United States in the late 20th Century, perhaps early 21st. These aren't separate aspects of the work, the Weird relies upon this strong sense of place, and I wonder how the stories come across to someone unfamiliar with this part of the U.S. It may work quite well, but no doubt it would work much differently than it does for me. Somehow I find that fitting.

Two further observations across stories.

Many stories are leavened with a dry humour, not something that undermines the Weird or (when horror is part of the story) deflects the emotion, rather a sardonic commentary ("Inn of the Dreaming Dog") that emphasizes the everyday people and circumstances in which the tales unfold, or a knowing poke at the ridiculous situations facing us ("The Winter Wraith", "Not Without Mercy", "Thanksgiving").

And, Ford often doesn't advertise this in the stories themselves, but the narrator in many tales is a fictional version of himself, as corroborated by reviewing his biography (teaching positions and schools, marital status, places of residence). This conceit emphasises the way the Weird and the mundane rub elbows throughout the various stories, adding a slight tension, as if something could erupt at any point, without warning -- perhaps on the page, perhaps instead at my own elbow, in my reading chair. ( )
2 vota elenchus | Sep 28, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
A great collection from the somewhat eerie Jeffrey Ford. He is a master at telling a regular story that veers off into the unknown and sometimes rather uncomfortable, while using a voice that lures the reader into thinking everything is copacetic when it very much isn't. Always a surprising journey to read this author, and this collection is no exception. ( )
1 vota -Eva- | Sep 5, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
I loved this collection for its matter-of-fact storytelling style combined with fantastic events. Every story wraps its unexpected events inside a comfortable, lull-the-reader-to-feel-safe tone that makes the reveals more eerie and wonderfully unexpected when they come. I loved the first-person stories most for their narrative playfulness--the stories kept surprising me. ( )
1 vota poingu | Jul 12, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
I RECEIVED AN ARC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA LIBRARYTHING'S EARLY REVIEWERS. THANK YOU.

My Review
: Dudebro Jeffrey Ford voice on full Technicolor display...if you've never read Ford's stories, you're either going to hate the hell out of that voice from giddy-up to whoa, in which case give the collection a miss; or you're going to see the voice as its own contiunuing character, the kind-of career-long Rod Serling of the author's imaginitive universe. I liked the voice from my first encounter and if you don't, bail instantly.

These aren't Horror Stories, they're atmospheric tales of strange and uncongruent realities that look a lot like consensus reality. As is the statutory requirement for story-collection reviews on my blog, I herewith employ the Bryce Method of giving a line or two and a rating to each of the fifteen included stories individually. ( )
1 vota richardderus | Jul 9, 2021 |
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Previously published asNorth American Lake Monsters. Monsterland is a new anthology TV series from Hulu based on Nathan Ballingrud's striking, bleak, and luminous debut collection, starring Kaitlyn Dever, Kelly Marie Tran, Jonathan Tucker, and Taylor Schilling, and more. Ballingrud's Shirley Jackson Award winning collection of gothic and uncanny stories investigates the loneliest and darkest corners of contemporary American life. Ballingrud's stories are love stories. They're also monster stories. Sometimes the monsters collected here are vampires or werewolves. Sometimes they wear the faces of parents, lovers, brothers, ex-wives--or the faces we see in our mirrors. The people in these stories, ex-cons, single parents, unemployed laborers, kids seduced by extremism, are stranded by life, driven to desperate acts by love and a longing for connection. Sometimes they're ruined; sometimes redeemed. They are always recognizably, wonderfully, terrifyingly human, even at their most monstrous.

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