Back in January, right before the ice storm, I read one of the books that was on my 9 for ’09 list, but I never managed to write about it.
It was In the Land of Dreamy Dreams, a short story collection by a local author, Ellen Gilchrist. I called it my book for used, because I bought it at the wonderful Dickson St. Book Shop, which I love. It had also been hanging around my house a good long time, but I already covered the book I called my “dusty” book.
The sad thing is, I don’t remember a lot about this book. I guess that says something. It wasn’t that it was bad, it’s just hard to remember all the individual stories. I know that some of them involved a charater, Rhoda J. Manning, who comes back in other stories later in this author’s career.
I know I was really disturbed by one story in the collection, and that is the main one that I remember. There’s just something about those awful turns you see coming in a story that still turn out to be pretty horrifying and unpleasant even when you do see them coming.
It’s a very 1970’s kind of book, kind of little slice of life stories that don’t seem to want to say something bigger to the reader. Maybe they did and I just missed it, feeling pretty far removed from the kind of life most of the characters in the stories have.
I did enjoy the book, as I’ve enjoyed other things by this author, it’s just been too long and I’ve read too much since then (following it with another huge short story collection was probably a bad idea) to really be able to tell much about it.