Stories of the Surreal

Very few fiction works capture the surreal as well as Ben Loory's book Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day. It's lyrical and mythical and a break from the everyday. I guarantee you've never read a book like this one. Consider this whimsical line (my favorite from the entire collection):

"The octopus is spooning sugar into his tea 
when there is a knock at the door." 

Judging from its cover (which I heartily recommend), it's clear something unexpected will emerge from these pages. And Loory doesn't disappoint. Within you'll find:

Bizarre alien children.
A swimming pool inhabited by an invisible sea monster.
A house in love with the ocean, separated by a cliff.
Boys who die in, then fly from, the depths of wells.

But this book is not all delightful animals having a tea party. It covers everything from fairy tale to nightmare to folklore, so don't expect a strictly cheery time from its pages. There are stories here that have a darkness I have not experienced since learning that in the original Cinderella story, the stepsisters cut off their toes to fit in the glass slipper.

I am reminded of a few novels as I read this (Shadow ShowLight Boxes, and Beatrice and Virgil immediately come to mind), but there is no clear companion piece to this work, as it stands unique and alone.

I am amazed by Loory's talent as I peruse these tales and I am dying to dive into them again and again.

octopus graphic originally from this site.

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This work by H.E. Saunders is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.