Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

July 2

Comments: 3

Short Story Review: Blood by Roddy Doyle

by Ann-Katrina

The short story Blood by Roddy Doyle can be found in Stories: All-New Tales Edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio.

Short Synopsis

A man, married with children, discovers one evening that he has an insatiable desire for blood, but doesn’t understand why. It’s not as though he’s a vampire, or even has an interest in them. Still, this desire drives him to do some crazy things which involves a neighbor’s chickens.

My Thoughts on Blood by Roddy Doyle

Overall, this was a quick and entertaining read, although I must admit the prose style required some getting used to. (There are no quotes for the dialog; it’s preceded by a dash.)

That said, this wasn’t the greatest short story I’d ever read. In a few places there was a noticeable voice shift which pulled me out of the story and other sections meandered, which just shouldn’t happen in a short story.

As far as character development goes, there wasn’t much, but it was forgivable since the primary focus is on what’s happening to the protagonist. The unfolding scenario was interesting enough to hold my attention and there was a fun twist at the end which made me smile on the inside.

This is my first time reading Roddy Doyle and, after this story, I’m likely to read more of his writing.

Final rating: B

(You can actually read this story online for free at the Times website. Don’t know if that link will work forever, though.)

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February 2

Comments: 7

Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

by Ann-Katrina

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Back Cover of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Tales of the Jazz Age

Fitzgerald’s talent for short fiction is on display in this selection of four of his finest tales, chosen from two collections: Flappers and Philosophers (1920) and Tales of the Jazz Age (1922). Included are “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a fantasy whose protagonist is born an old man and ages in reverse; “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” a coming-of-age story about a daring young flapper; “The Jelly-Bean,” a story of disillusionment and love lost; and “Dalyrimple Goes Wrong,” a case of a character torn between self and society.

Three Quick Points About The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Tales of the Jazz Age

  • Point 1: Another era. Not gonna lie, Fitzgerald’s language caught me off guard a couple of times, but it certainly reminded that he was writing in another era.
  • Point 2: Life can be frustrating. It seems that your time line doesn’t matter, you’ll still come up against obstacles; they’ll only be slightly different.
  • Point 3: Sad. That’s what I felt when the story of Benjamin Button ended.

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