30 Under 30: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers edited by Elizabeth Reapy with a foreword by John Walsh
The Irish Quarter
There are thirty stories in 30 Under 30: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers. (I totally endorse purchase of this very fairly priced collection and will provide a publisher's link at the end of this post.) There is also a very interesting introduction by the editor Elizabeth Reapy (I have posted on her very well done short story, "Statues") and a foreword by John Walsh.. Agreeing with John Walsh, I think this book could well be a collector's item one day.
Posting on collections of short stories that include the works of many different authors presents a big challenge, to me at least. I do not personally care for reviews or posts on short story collections that simply have one or two lines on a few of the stories and then gush over the collection as a whole with standard book review quotes. These could in fact easily be written without reading much of the collection and to me it is like going on about a forest without realizing it is made up of trees. Because of the high quality of the stories and the collection's ability to acquaint me with contemporary Irish short stories, I now plan to post individually on all of the stories in the collection.
Upon completion of this project, I will list my top five stories.
"Great Expectations" by Graham Connors is a very well written thoroughly entertaining account of a young man's first sexual encounter, with his oh so sexy girl friend in her parents house when her parents, especially her very scary father, are out for the night. There is a lot of what I call Irish slang in the stories in the collection. As I was reading "Great Expectations" I needed to Google "the jacks" as Irish slang to see what his girl friend was doing when she ran out to the jacks, i. e. the C. R. as is said in Tagalog slang.
We can feel his anxiety and self criticism as he is in her bed room with her half naked and all he can find to talk about is the posters on her wall. The girl says she wants them to watch a porno movie she got from her 15 year old brother's room, to see what he is into. When she "slapped the gob" on him I think I knew what that was. We see him get more nervous, and aroused, as it looks like sex is actually going to happen. He thinks about the things his buddies have told him about girls. Then something terrible happens, no her father does not burst in with a gun, and it all goes flat.
"Great Expectations" by Graham Connors was a very well done, totally entertaining, very visual and funny story that I greatly enjoyed reading.
Author Data (from 30 Under 30)
Graham Connors is 29 years old and has previously published in wordlegs.com and in Link magazine. He has successfully staged his first play, The Mortal Pitch, in both Wexford and Dublin. He is from County Wexford but moved to Dublin for college and has yet to find his way back.
You can find more information on 30 Under Thirty: A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers at the web page of Doire Press.