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What I Didn't See: Stories by Karen Joy…
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What I Didn't See: Stories (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Karen Joy Fowler

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862140,249 (4.03)3
Member:katiecoyle
Title:What I Didn't See: Stories
Authors:Karen Joy Fowler
Info:Small Beer Press (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:short fiction, American, 2010s, read in 2012

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What I Didn't See and Other Stories by Karen Joy Fowler (2010)

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Science fiction? Fantasy? Neither? It can be hard to tell with some of Karen Joy Fowler's stories. And particularly difficult in this collection! I'd say they all appeal to sf/f readers, though, even if you're pretty certain it's neither.Most of the stories in this collection were published in the last few years, and there's at least one entirely new one. "What I Didn't See" is, I think, the oldest story in this collection. Or perhaps it was "Standing Room Only", which is my favorite one, even though I'd read it previously.The perfect gift to give to a friend who doesn't like sf/f (and they're still your friend?!) but does like short stories. Ease them into things.Then slip them some of her novels. ( )
  Jellyn | Jul 23, 2012 |
Based on Karen Joy Fowler’s work to date, it is clear that she likes books. The Jane Austen Book Club, for which she is mainly known is an engagement with the modern romance genre as well as Austen’s novels. The Case of the Imaginary Detective, also published as Wit’s End, is a crime novel about crime novels. What I Didn’t See is a collection of Karen Joy Fowler’s short stories, the first such collection since 1997’s Black Glass. Most of the stories in this collection have been published elsewhere, with the oldest (“The Dark”) first published in 1991 and the most recent (“Halfway People”) in 2010. So it’s unsurprising that they don’t immediately form a unified collection. However, while it would be reductive to say that literature is Fowler’s subject, this is a frequently recurring thread that is useful to hang on to.
“The Dark”, my favorite, manages to combine a history of plague, the Vietnam war and feral children into a disturbing story which also contains references to the Pied Piper of Hamlin. “King Rat” is a simpler piece in which the narrator remembers a friend of her family, yet again the story of the Pied Piper and his attendant lost children lurks in the background.
These stories blend fantastic ideas with good writing for an entertaining read. ( )
  jwhenderson | Nov 6, 2011 |
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Writing a review of what is, for the most part, a reprint collection of superb and already well-received stories comes uncomfortably close to gilding a lily. At the same time, one thing we can consistently say about Fowler's wide-ranging body of fiction is that it is always worth talking about.
 
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A collection of stories includes tales about John Wilkes Booth's younger brother, a one-winged man, a California cult, a rebellious teen facing torture in a rehab facility, and a mother who invents a fairy-tale world for her son.

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Small Beer Press

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