Monday, June 05, 2006

Monterey Shorts

This collection of wacky stories is written by authors from the Monterey area, and take place in Monterey, although in varying time periods, from ghostly tales of years past to imaginations of the Jetsons-like future. My favorite was the The Lizard Catcher, by Lele Dahle. It was a suspenseful story about what happens to a group of children living in a farming community when Juanita, the daughter of a migrant worker, joins their group of friends. You won’t know what is going to happen until the surprising and sad ending. Monte-Ray Gunn, by Byron Merrit, (grandson of Frank Herbert, who wrote the famous science-fiction novel entitled Dune) was also interesting. It is a futuristic crime story that captured my attention with its odd set of characters. If you like science fiction, this short story is funny and clever.

Most of the stories were pretty good, but I found some to be a little dull and hard to get through. If you have ever visited or lived on the Monterey Peninsula, you might connect more with these stories than I did. However, for someone who has never been there, these stories will give you an idea of the place. The idea of collecting a book of shorts around the idea of a place is interesting, and it works well with this novel. Compared to other collections of short stories I’ve read, this one is not my favorite, but is worth a read even if only for a few of the stories.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 6
Reviewer Age: 16
Reviewer City, State and Country: Edina, Minnesota USA

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