I think I’m officially in love with China. Every time I read another work I am more astonished by the unfettered creativity brough to it. This is not your normal short story collection – it is deeper and wider and more entertaining than most of the books I’ve read in the last couple years.
Looking For Jake
by China Miéville
read by Jonathan Cowley, Enn Reitel, Gildart Jackson, Peter Altschuler, Robin Sachs, Bruce Mann, Dominic Burgess, Steve West Del Rey & Random House Audio
There are 14 short stories here with topics ranging from ghost stories to horror to straight up interdiminensional science fiction and each of them shines in their own way. Some were stronger than others though and stay with you longer. Consider The Tain, a story that turns on its head any ideas about what we really see when we see a reflection in a mirror and asks the haunting question: what if those reflections don’t want to mimic us? The Ball Room is a modern horror story that takes place in an department store children’s play room where something goes horribly wrong.
Others are less profound but enjoyable never the less. The most humorous story in the bunch is
Tis the Season, a story that wonders what would happen in a world where everything related to Christmas(TM) could be copyrighted. Details is a story about a young boy who spends his days sitting outside the door of an elderly woman who cannot leave her home because when she looks on anything with a pattern she seed It coming for her.
Reading this book made me feel like I was a kid in a candy store except I’m not a kid and the store that I’m in just appeared around me unexepectedly and the candy isn’t actually candy but is something I couldn’t ever have imagined but at the same time realized as I partook that I had always wanted it. A gem.
A note about the audio book version: Each story is narrated by a different reader who brings their own charms to the work. None of the readers suffered from over zealously affecting the work and all brought just enough of their own personality to make each story that much more independant. With this many stories it would be easy to have them run together with the same reader. This version, though, suffers from none of those concerns. Well read from top to bottom.
Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he cartoons and writes on Christianity, Zombies, and anything else he wants to.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.