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Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day Paperback – July 26, 2011
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"Strange, gorgeous fables - the reader isn't sure if she has dreamed them or read them." -Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Review of Books
"These stories are full of wit, humor, and heart, at times koan-like in their deceptive simplicity and focus." -Michael Patrick Brady, Boston Globe
"...lonely, haunting, and dreamlike..." -Gary K. Wolfe, Locus Magazine
"Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day might be the best collection of wonder and amazement I have ever read." -Michael Jones, Blogcritics.org
"...loopy yet lovely..." -Elle Magazine
"...immensely entertaining..." -The AV Club
"One of a kind: a thoroughly entertaining antidote to rigid thinking and excessive seriousness." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
From the Inside Flap
Top Customer Reviews
Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is pure distillate of story, boiled down to the essential words that unfurl inside and take up residence, and the disarming restraint of their sinewy form only serves to bring me in closer so that I'm collected inside them, as they are inside this book, as they collect inside my memory, as they make laugh (oh so hard), cower (equally hard), and smile (hardest there is). They make me feel, for those moments when I am in them, that I have a reprieve from this world, and have really lived these stories myself, that I was part of them and those sublimely surreal other worlds that we are still left to discover in this looryverse.
The most visceral moments in reading are the ones to wait for, so absorbing you can almost reach out and touch the taut atmosphere, and the tension of the tale resolves itself inside you. Ben's book is full of these moments, told with a direct simplicity and metre; his words wash over you, delightful and unexpected, like a convenient sprinkler on an unbearably hot day. This writing is no inch of ivory but more a paint-with-water book, the paint inked on in defined lines, just enough, mind, and you simply add your own water to a world that becomes more vivid and real every moment, and then you wipe off the brush, or eye, if need be.
I don't want to give too much away in this review about what you will read in these pages: I will not point out favourites (though i do have them)because each of the stories has its own secrets at its core, and it's how we reflect these stories on ourselves that we come to love one or another best. I will say that these pages are a pastiche of the paranormal mixed with some magic, deepened by dazzling darkness, populated with people, trees, ducks, tvs, the sea, and the breeze, so very many things and beings changing, and they morph before our eyes, and as the characters change, we change too.
If it's not clear by now, this is an exhortation to people that might read this review: I recommend you get this book the minute it comes out. I'm hard on books, but I know what I like, and I love this. I knew at first reading that there was something very special in these stories. I know you will find charm, and enchantment, some anxiety, some sorrow, some sweetness, and occasionally hope here. This is a breathtakingly lovely collection of little stories, so full of nighttime and day, so spare and so fine, I cannot now imagine living my life without it, and can't for the life of me, think why you should either.
There's a thin thread of similarity among all of the stories - there's something not right about them. Whatever it is, the ending will twist. The degree of that twist isn't always the same but they're strung together by a hint of the macabre in each. That I really did like. There wasn't a story in this anthology that I didn't like.
Kind of in that same vein they were so short that I think that was a big reason why I couldn't find one that I didn't like. All of them had enough to pull me in and hold on to me, with endings that were more often than not abrupt but still provided a punch. But at the same time they were so short that, for a lot of them I felt like I couldn't get too much out of them. There were some that did well as short stories, written succinctly and that the voice did it a service. One that really stands out in my head is with a little boy crawling through a water tunnel trying to find the end and getting stuck. The ending to that one is phenomenal.
But by the end of STORIES I was a little done with the writing. It's a very simple type of style that I think works really well in small doses and fit many of Loory's shorts but reading one after another in the same tone just got a little boring for me. While the subjects of the stories differed, the voice was the same in every single one of them. Aside from the short I mentioned above, not too many others really stood out to me because the voice blended them all together. I would have liked to have seen different tones for the different stories in STORIES. I think it would have made them pop a little more and differentiated each a little better.
But I would really recommend this one. It's short and to the point and really, the shorts are pretty good with some really good twists. But the voice just got to me after a while. I was looking for something different by the end. I know a lot of people like that simpler way of storytelling, straightforward and to the point with zero fat, and like I said above, it can fit, but it was a bit of an overkill here. I would have liked either a shorter book or a greater tonal variety. But still, read it. The stories are great and all are some level of creepy. Just keep your eye out for the voice. The one lone voice throughout the anthology. You might be better able to stomach it than I could but even if not, I'm sure you'll still like what you're reading.
When Ben Loory read a piece from the book in Denver, my girlfriend and I both cried. When Ben Loory sent me the manuscript for a blurb, I held it in my heart each night for a summer while my girlfriend was in Taiwan. Oh, to get through the day and have stories from this book awaiting you!
Here's the blurb I wrote:
"Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is a book that comes alive when you read it. It will stand on its own, pet your hair while you sleep, and hold the umbrella over your head in the rain."
None of those claims are outrageous in the least.