Every so often I come across a book of short stories that when I am finished I put it down, shake my head and smile, with full knowledge that I have just experienced something phenomenal.
For non-readers you will never know this experience, you cannot get this from a TV show or movie. It is an emotional bond between the writer's words and the reader, the connections that are made, the experiences that are shared. This is what makes reading so special and why I would rather read than watch the latest drivel on TV.
With "Islington Crocodiles" Mr. Meloy brings together a group of tales that are some of the best short stories I have ever read. Moving, shocking, funny, disturbing are just a few of the terms that can describe these tales. His voice is original, his imagination seemingly knows no bounds.
After reading "Islington Crocodiles" I had but one thought..."How the hell did I never hear of Paul Meloy?"
Every story was exceptional and I loved every one, though there were a couple that were my favorites.
Islington Crocodiles - This one was my favorite. The story just grabbed me by the throat and dragged me along for a journey I will not soon forget. A vision of Nurse Melt and her flying machine will stay with me for a long time.
The Last Place on Earth for Snow - A short, powerful emotionally written tale that really had an effect on me.
The Last Great Paladin of Idle Conceit - Lenny Bruce comes back to life for one last routine. The comedian he comes to gives him that chance and what happens may change the world forever. An original take on the returning dead that is brilliantly crafted.
If there is one short story collection you read this year, make it "Islington Crocodiles", you will not be disappointed and you will be amazed. I give it my highest recommendation.
On a final note I have to give credit to Bad Moon Books for putting out such a beautiful edition. The cover art is absolutely beautiful and disturbing.