If you hang out here very often, you know that I love short stories. I think there is a real art to telling a story in just a few pages. In Lucky Alan: And Other Stories, Jonathan Lethem succeeds in a few stories – one or two stories stayed with me – but most left no impression.
My favorite story by far in this collection was “The King of Sentences.” Two hipsters, so self-absorbed they can’t see past the end of their own noses, are obsessed with an author they call The King of Sentences. They study his books, they read them aloud to each other, the become obsessed with the idea of tracking him down, worshiping him. They get the sort of reception they deserve.
The other standout is “Their Back Pages,” a story about forgotten comic book characters, stranded on an island. It stands out mostly because it is so weird!
C’KRRRARN TEARS OFF THE TOP OF A PALM TREE AND FEEDS!!!
C’krrrarn is staying within himself.
C’KRRRARN TEARS OFF A CORNER OF THE VOLCANO AND FEEDS!!!
C’Krrrarn is stayin within himself.
C’KRRRARN TEARS OFF A CHUNK OF THE OCEAN AND DEVOURS IT!!!
C’Krrrarn sits perfectly still and tries to empty him mind.
But even weird gets tedious after a while.
This was, sadly, not a collection of short stories that I could sink my teeth into. My copy of Lucky Alan: And Other Stories was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge.