Wednesday, June 18, 2014

[Rogues] Gillian Flynn: "What Do You Do?"

It feels so good to read something of high quality, and I have to say that Martin and Dozois really outdid themselves...editorially...with Dangerous Women and if the stories in Rogues continue like this, well we'll have another winner on our hands. Instead of struggling my way through R.A. Salvatore's The Companions (I'll explain why I choose suffering when I finish it) I just had to check out the next story in Rogues, which is Gillian Flynn's "What Do You Do?"

Upon reading the title, I imagined that this would be a story about role playing gamers, I believe "What do you do?" is the most spoken sentence by game masters during games and so I instantly connected the title with that, and so I became curious and had to see. Flynn's story has nothing to do with RPGs or game masters, but it did grab me (no pun intended, if you've read the story) from the get-go and I actually just had to stop the world for a bit and finish it at once. Quite how Flynn did this, I am not sure myself. The story itself segues between several possible genres (you'll understand when you read it) and during the reading I was constantly wondering where the story would go. Only the ending, which crammed in a lot of long dialogue to kind of explain things, felt a bit weak compared to the rest of this excellent, surprising and, to some senses, probably offensive short story.

The thing that made this one stand out (man, is every story in here going to stand out? There sure were a lot of good stories in Dangerous Women as well; I'm pleasantly surprised again) is a combination of a character with a strong voice and a somewhat unusual life style that I suppose just must make you curious and interested (or fascinated, whatever), keeping you on the edge with regards to what the story is truly about, and just plain good pacing.

Now I have to check out who this Gillian Flynn author is, because I have no idea. So already at the second story in the volume, Rogues is doing its job just fine.

And now I want to just quickly peak at the next short story, to see what that one's going to be all about. I'm discovering a whole new world here, folks. I never read short stories before these anthologies with George R.R. Martin stuff in it. Now I know that short stories can be great - they pack a punch in a different way and knowing they will end sooner than later makes it easier to read and perhaps force me to read on because I need to know how it ends and stuff and stuff.

1 comment:

  1. This is the only story in this volume that managed to completely surprise me. I though I was reading one genre, but it turned out to be a completely different one. And Miles was the scariest villain in the whole volume, which, considering that he has no supernatural powers, means some great writing.