April, 2020 - I think I'm going to shut From My Bookshelf down for a while; maybe for good. I've been putting this together for quite a few years now and it's starting to feel a bit more of a chore. I'll keep my Goodreads connected, but with the state of the world right now, I just want to read without worrying about making sure I post something about it. Who knows - when the world starts to make some semblance of sense again, I may start actively posting here again. Until then, as always, happy reading!
Holy shit, this story is all over the place. A mad Indian, an obsessed hunter, both chasing a creature that may be a spirit, a Sasquatch, a product of evolution gone wrong, maybe a result of cross-species breading, all converging on a lodge in the forest that results in a final battle to the death. I eventually just wished the author would stick to one explanation and settle there, but nope, maybe there was yet another explanation to what the creature is. Overall, the action kept me intrigued enough to follow the story thru to the end, but unfortunately I don't think this is a book that I'll be revisiting anytime soon. One of the Paperbacks From Hell that just did not work for me.
Matt Godfrey's narration is good. He keeps the story moving and makes the action feel palpable. His performance is probably what kept me vested in listening to the end.
I would like to thank Valancourt Books for providing a free audio download of THE SPIRIT in exchange for a fair and honest review.
ORANGE WORLD AND OTHER STORIES by Karen Russell is a collection of eight previously published short stories.
The Prospectors - A ghost story of loss, love, and moving on, one of my favorites from the collection.
The Bad Graft - A bizarre scifi horror story about Joshua trees.
Bog Girl: A Romance - A young boy unearths a bog girl while cutting peat. A love affair ensues. Yes, it seems that weird.
Madame Bovary's Greyhound - This exactly what it is, a short story about Madame Bovary's Greyhound. Having never read MADAME BOVARY (no shaming!), I'm not familiar with how the Greyhound's story plays out there, but this story seemed to be touched with a flavor of THE CALL OF THE WILD. I don't know that the ending of this story would hit as hard if the reader did not own a dog of their own.
The Tornado Auction - Tornadoes are grown at farms and one farmer deals with the mistakes of his life.
Black Corfu - A posthumous surgeon, who cuts the hamstrings of the deceased to keep them from rising from their graves is accused of making a mistake and not performing a surgery properly. As a result, the doctor must deal with the rumors that surround this error, which possibly cause him to go insane. Not my favorite of the collection.
The Gondoliers - Young mutant girls ferry passengers thru a dystopian flooded future Florida.
Orange World - A new mother makes a deal with a devil to keep her baby safe. Clearly an allegory of the fear all mothers must have about the safety of their baby.
The first four stories are the strongest for me. The Tornado Auction was an interesting idea, but didn't quite have the same punch as the first four. The final three stories are the weakest for me, especially Black Corfu. That one really didn't work at all for me. Overall, a solid collection, and even I can attest that the stories that were not to my liking are still written well. I'll be interested to read more of Karen Russell in the future.