Monday, July 11, 2005

Brother, what strange place is this?



This is a great collection of short stories by Tom Saunders available at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

My Amazon review:

Tom Saunders has tuned into the deep dark secrets of our world, of happiness and sadness, and has articulated them in the stories collected in "Brother, what strange place is this?".

The title story with the brother Griffin jumping out of a window only to survive and end up in an institution for the insane addresses the title question in an emotional and philosophical way, but really, all the stories in this collection are studies of the same question.

"Aerobatics" is the one that most got to me, the one I can't forget: A father tells his daughter about the time, when he was a boy, that he came home from school to see to his mother crying, "breaking her heart". He explains that up until that moment he was happy and then "suddenly I was landed with this knowledge about my mother...I wasn't prepared for what I saw...I wasn't prepared for a world where that sort of sadness was possible."

You have to be prepared to read this collection. You won't be, of course. Like the little boy who is suddenly faced with the shock of his mother in tears, one can never be prepared to face the depth of the world's sadness (for the boy) or strangeness (for the brother, Griffin).

Yes, I recommend this collection of stories. Tom Saunders is a sensitive and intelligent writer who is concerned with the truth of the human condition.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home