Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Thirteen Ways of Looking and "What Time is it Now". - A Novella and a short story by Colum McCann (2016)

This is the six year in which I have treated March as Irish Short Story Month.  This year i have no Plans other than to post upon a few Irish short stories.  If I had the energy and focus I would create a seperate blog devoted only to the Irish short story.


Colum McCann ( Dublin,1951) has written six highly regarded novels in addition to his short stories and novellas.

My quick thoughts and ranking on the novels by Colum McCann I have so far read and posted upon. 

1.  TransAtlantic - I love this book 

2.  Let the Great World Go On Spinning. Huge international best seller. 

3.  Dancer- a powerful book centered on Rudolph Nureyev.   Parts of it are at perfect but not quite as good as the first two selections.

4.  Zoli -   Good look at post WWII Roma culture. 

5.  Songdogs - his first novel, parts are really good, parts a bit shaky but very much worth reading.

6.  This Side of Brightness. Interesting work.

Today I will just post briefly on a novella and a short story from Colum's latest book Thirteen Ways of Looking.

The title work is a novella centering on the murder of a retired New York judge, killed in the streets of the city.  It is in part murder mystery work overlaid with the judge's involuntary memories of his long life, mostly about his deceased wife and his career as an attorney and a judge.  In the present he thinks a lot about his Caribbean caretaker Sally and his son Eliot, a very sucessful business man in a bit of trouble because of an affair with a female employee.  The unraveling of the murder mystery is really well done.  I will leave the mystery for new readers to discover.  

"What Time is it Now" is kind of a work of meta-fiction.  It is a short story about a writer working on a story about a woman serving in the American army in Afganistan.  I found it interesting.

There is a another Novella and short story in the collection and I hope to read them soon.

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