There is something that is just so… recognisable about telling ghost stories. It doesn’t matter what age or setting, telling tales that are sure to freak out your friends, peers and family is just… well, fun. Which of course meant that there had to be an exchange of ghost stories in a collection of Halloween tales. The fact that it’s an exchange of steadily creepier stories in a bar in the middle of nowhere… well, that had me grinning and clapping my hands like a little ninny.
This collection took a long time to read. Yet, I absolutely adored it. Mostly it took a while to read because there were so many short stories filling the pages, and whenever I finished one, I often went searching for more stories by the authors I was discovering. My wishlist has grown by leaps and bounds since starting this collection.
I read this story while I had my dogs curled up on either side of me. Which seemed kind of… suited. After all, this is a tale about dogs learning to use words and gaining yet another level of individuality. Although, as is often pointed out, the dogs are still our loyal companions. They still love us. They can just communicate a little better.
This is a quick, sharp pithy little poem. Each line had few words and made the poem flow with a quick beat. Which was perfect for a poem which featured the trickster Anansi. After all, tricksters are always portrayed as quick, nimble and intense characters. They don’t stay still for long, and they’re constantly on the move. Kind of like this poem.
I liked the way that this story used dreams and insanity to construct a story full of tricksters and change. Mostly, I love the imagery of change being bought by the wind. After all, trickster stories are about change and balance, the wind is often something that brings new things into our lives… all weaved together in a beautiful, stunning tapestry.
I found this short story a little confusing and convoluted. Which is probably what the point of it was… after all, it’s based around the idea of a labyrinth. And there is nothing sensical and normal about a labyrinth. Which made this a somewhat perfect trickster story. The labyrinth being the perfect trickster persona.
I’ve sometimes wondered if the world is run by clowns. Or something similar. After all, nothing really makes sense, everything is random, and whoever in charge probably has a sick sense of humour. Very sick. Sadistic even. Which is why I like the idea of a story which is based on the idea of a God Clown.
Eating competitions fascinate me. They’re weird, random and something that I couldn’t fathom doing myself… mostly because I already feel way too sick whenever I overeat even slightly. When I found out that actually being sick is a huge taboo and has its own name (a reversal of fortune), I was drawn completely into the tale. It had me laughing out loud, smiling, and chuckling at the ways in which Holly Black was able to take a fairly typical trickster tale and turn it on its head.
This story was quite clever. At the beginning, it felt like any tale with a trickster-like character. One in which their smarts, wit and penchant for trouble had gotten them into a spot of bother, and you knew that they would get out of it in the end. Which is kind of what happened… but the character actually was the trickster, and he was in trouble with death.
The Princess and the Pea has always been one of those stories that is kind of iconic for me. I’m not sure why, since I don’t often enjoy stories about princessy princesses. But, this version of it using tricksters and the desert is far more to my taste. Actually, I was incredibly disappointed when it was over.