Friday, May 14, 2010

Book of Days by Gene Wolfe

This is a collection of short stories organized by holiday: Arbor Day has a story involving a tree, Lincoln's birthday is commemorated with a story called "How the Whip Came Back," and so on. The longest story is "Forlesen" (for Labor Day), a Kafka-esque piece about work in middle management with an acrid edge that suggests bitter experience with management fads. "St. Brandon" is a wonderful sendup of Irish folk tales.

You won't find many cheerful stories among them, but Wolfe is a skillful writer. I'd say "read it," but with the caveat that when I said that to my better half she found the stories she read depressing.

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