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Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy Volume 3 Rebekah Send a noteboard - 27/04/2010 07:45:44 PM

Mix together a boat full of grandmothers, an angel sitting for her portrait, a city in a bottle and a home full of flying children. Add one Pied Piper, a spate of serial killers, a city with just one heart and a girl with two heads. Season with the king of the Djinn, the Lord of the Story, a few characters from Regency literature, and more, and you have Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy Volume 3.

This edition, pulled together by guest editor Kevin Brockmeier, is an eclectic clash of moods and styles. The mix of stories is excellent. There is something for everyone, from dark humour to humourless darkness, and from gentle tenderness to unbridled savagery. There was even a story I couldn’t finish because it was just too grim. Others will probably enjoy that, because it was written with a beautiful lyricism, but I am a wimp.

Most of these stories are set in our world – or a world very like it – and have the slightest touch of the fantastical to them. I like that. They’re stories of what could have been had things shifted a little to the left (or right, I’m not directionist). Some of them are, in fact, stories of what might be, imaginative ponderings into the afterlife. And there are other tales that demonstrate the full vividness of their author’s imagination. I like those too, the weird and the wonderful. The contrast from story to story is great and an excellent way to ensure the reader continues through the collection even if they come across a story they don’t like.

This really is a brilliant collection of stories, one I recommend to everyone. It has certainly made me want to hunt down the others, and I am looking forward to the next volume. Short stories are an excellent way to fill in a spare 10 minutes and this book has the added bonus of showcasing the strengths of American Fantasy. Pick it up; immerse yourself in the tales collected within. You won’t regret it.

Just so you know, these stories were my favourites:
- Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel ~ Peter S. Beagle
A charming story of the supernatural, told with tenderness and wit. A tale of mystery and redemption.

- Couple of Lovers on a Red Background ~ Rebecca Makkai
What would you do if Johann Sebastian Bach suddenly turned up in your closet? And what would your children be like?

- Flying and Falling ~ Kuzhali Manickavel
A truly beautiful story of a special child and her father’s love.


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
This message last edited by Rebekah on 14/05/2010 at 06:28:39 PM
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Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy Volume 3 - 27/04/2010 07:45:44 PM 5231 Views
Glad you enjoyed them - 27/04/2010 07:54:56 PM 1714 Views
The Jeff Ford one was pretty good. - 27/04/2010 08:49:28 PM 1533 Views
Ha! - 27/04/2010 09:08:35 PM 1317 Views
That's the one that I assumed... - 28/04/2010 06:25:02 PM 1472 Views
Re: Glad you enjoyed them - 28/04/2010 07:45:25 PM 1333 Views
True - 28/04/2010 08:20:14 PM 1347 Views
Thank you for the review. - 27/04/2010 08:26:18 PM 1551 Views
I really enjoyed the balance of the selected stories. - 28/04/2010 06:31:00 PM 1503 Views
Agreed. *NM* - 28/04/2010 07:46:51 PM 739 Views
It sounds good - 28/04/2010 08:17:20 PM 1594 Views
It is. - 28/04/2010 08:20:24 PM 1451 Views
Re: It is. - 28/04/2010 08:21:40 PM 1362 Views
Each anthology differs from the others - 28/04/2010 08:44:25 PM 1726 Views
My favorite story in the collection... - 30/04/2010 08:57:34 PM 1451 Views

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