20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
For the sheer fun of looking at life from a different perspective,
This review is from: The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (Hardcover)
This is a lovely book, nice and thick (733 pages of text), and with countless short pieces which you can dip and out of. For while many of the stories are a few pages long, quite a few of them are just a paragraph or two, or even just a few lines, expressing depth with concision as with a Japanese Haiku.
The stories cover a vast range of subjects and it would be impossible to even begin to categorise them. A few samples might cover short portraits of a relationship, jury service, motorcycling, journeys, music and just about anything else you'd like to think of - its probably somewhere in there. The stories all share a rather quirky outlook on life which challenges the customary way of looking at things.
As I read this collection, I realised that you have to read several at a time in order to appreciate Lydia's unique view on life. She has the ability to look at things from a new angle so that her readers suddenly see the strangeness of things they usually take for granted.
All Lydia's stories stimulate reflection in oen way or another. They can't be taken at face value, but have to be reflected on. The blanks have to be filled in. And yet, despite the brevity of many of the stories, they are not poetry. They are precise, elegant pieces, each of which has at least a tiny narrative flow to them which qualifies them as stories and nothing more pretentious.
I am pleased to have this book on my bedside table and will dip in and out of it for some time to come. It would make a great gift for any reader as I'm sure anyone would find something of interest in it.