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    Good Anthology

    Growing Things and Other Stories by Paul Tremblay is an anthology of his stories. First, let me thank Edelweiss, the publisher Harper Collins, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis…and Opinions A few words about each of the short stories in this collection follows. Growing Things….Plants take over the world. I enjoyed this one. Swim Wants to Know If It Is As Bad As Swim Thinks….It’s about a monster, but I swear I thought it was about a drug addict out of control. Needless to say I just didn’t get this one. Something About Birds…An interview with an author gets a little strange. A little out there, but good. The Getaway…A robbery gone wrong. This one made me think. Nineteen Snapshots of Dennisport…A summer holiday with lasting memories. I enjoyed this one.***** Where We All Will Be…Appears to be an apocalyptic tale….Interesting, but puzzling. The Teacher…The tale of a small class given the occasional special lesson. This was just disturbing. Notes for the Barn in the Wild…A journalist follows a trail to a Labrador barn. Strange. …This does not seem to have a name. A day at the beach with your children….Wierd. Our Town’s Monster…A monster who, when not being a tourist attraction, is deadly. I enjoyed this one. A Haunted House Is a Wheel Upon Which Some Are Broken…Returning to a childhood home. Loved it! ***** It Won’t Go Away…An author commits suicide, and leaves a hint with a friend, who starts to see what the problem was. Quite Good. Notes from the Dog Walkers…Dog behaviours are to be recorded by their walkers, but these walkers have many opinions on many things. Started out entertaining, ended up going on, and on, and on. Boring. Further Questions for the Somnambulist…The somnambulist knows everything, but there’s really only one question. This one did nothing for me. The Ice Tower…A giant tower of ice appears in the Antarctic, and a group decide to climb it. Predictable. The Society of the Monsterhood…Four children from the poor side of town are given free scholarships, but their peers are not happy. Those that criticize are never seen again. Strange, but good. Her Red Right Hand…A girl becomes interested in the goblin at the well. This one seemed to miss the mark, well, mine anyway. It’s Against the Law to Feed the Ducks…An apocalyptic event occurs when a family is on vacation. This was okay. The Thirteenth Temple…An author is forced to provide a fan with a story. I really enjoyed this one! ***** My Opinions: Note that all of these are very loooong short stories, or seem to be. The author’s imagination is vivid, but the reader’s must also be, because a number of these stories do not have a natural end, or explanation. Even the notes by the author at the end of the book (and I seriously wish they had been added at the end of each story), did a poor job of explaining each tale. I like the style that Paul Tremblay writes. His words are clear. A number of these stories have appeared in other anthologies, so you may have come across them before. There are horror stories, monster stories, crime stories, some a mixture. Some are there are straight-forward, some confusing as hell. Overall, while most of the stories were good, very few were “great” (I marked those with 5*’s.) So, I may be in the minority here, but this was not my favorite book of short stories.
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