Sunday, August 29, 2010

How They Met and other stories, by David Levithan

After I returned those Odd short story books to the library, I was scanning the shelves for another anthology that I could glean inspiration and learn from. (I want to write my own collection of short stories now. ^_^) So I found this. Now by the cover, it looked like this would certainly be my kind of book. I've tackled short stories about magic and odd things, and now I was ready to read short stories about love. Awesome!

What I didn't know, and what the inside cover didn't bother to tell me, was that about a third of the stories were about gay couples. O,o

Now I certainly don't have anything against gay people (one of my best friends is gay ^_~). It's just that I'm not used to reading from the perspective of a gay person. It was just... different for me. Hey, I wouldn't have minded if one or two stories were about gay couples, but we're talking about 7 out of 18 stories here. The very first three stories, in fact, were gay. So yeah, this kind of affected my opinion of the book as a whole in general.

To be fair though, the stories that were about straight couples were quite good. The author certainly kept me guessing. O,o He usually wrote in the first person, so it was a little hard to figure out sometimes whether it would turn out to be a gay story or a straight story. But I liked the guy's writing style. The fact that I bothered to finish this book shows that it wasn't all that bad of a reading experience.

Maybe this book was false advertising for me, personally, but don't let that stop you from picking this book up yourself. Who knows? Maybe you'll like it.


J.N. Future Author said...

After doing about 30 seconds of research, it turns out that David Levithan is actually openly gay himself.

I've never been much for love stories, the best I've read is Once Upon a Marigold.

I actually find that slightly disappointing that the author 'slips' it in there without ever mentioning it. I think my biggest reason for this disappointment is it was probably a fairly unpleasant shock for most people.

I agree with your logic that 1, maybe even 2 would at least give you a perspective from that point of view. A change of pace. But with something like 7 out of 14? Thats closer to half the book!

Because being gay is a minority, I think the stories should have been kept in the minority also. One of the things people look for is the ability to identify with the main characters. With something like this the vast majority will not identify with this way of thinking. They may get a better understanding...but thats it

I honestly don't think there would be a way to tell people about the contents without scaring people away from the book. So I guess the logical thing would be to not mention it at all....but still. There should have been more warning. I liked your words: it was False Advertising.

I can tell by your review that this book sits around the 4/10 to 5/10. That it was not a favorite, but there was at least some things that you did like about it.

I don't know if I would pick it up... probably not. Like I said, I'm not much for love stories anyways


Magenta said...

Ah, I didn't know he was gay. That would explain it. Thanks for looking that up for me.

I agree. If gays are a minority, the gay stories should have been a minority in this book.

Yeah, not my favorite short story anthology.

Thanks for commenting. Hope you'll stop by my blog more in the future! ^_~