Dec 5, 2011

#156 - "The Uninnocent: Stories" by Bradford Morrow (ARC)

Title: The Uninnocent: Stories

Author: Bradford Morrow

Publication date: December 5th, 2011

Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 9781605982656

Pages: 256

Edition: Hardcover

Read from November 11th, 2011 to December 4th, 2011  from ARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!

My rating: 4 of 5
Bradford Morrow’s stories have garnered him awards such as the O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes and have given him a devoted following. Now gathered here for the first time is a collection of his finest, gothic, most darkly comic, masterfully written tales. 
A young man whose childhood hobby of collecting sea shells and birds’ nests takes a sinister turn when he becomes obsessed with acquiring his brother’s girlfriend, in “The Hoarder” (selected as one of the Best American Noir Stories of the Century).
An archeologist summoned to attend his beloved sister’s funeral is astonished to discover it is not she who has died, but someone much closer to him, in “Gardener of Heart.”
A blind motivational speaker has a crisis of faith when he suddenly regains his sight, only to discover life was better lived in the dark, in “Amazing Grace.”
In all of these stories, readers will find themselves enthralled and captivated by one of the most potent voices in contemporary American fiction.

 My thoughts on the book:
The Uninnocent is a collection of Bradford Morrow's 12 short stories & I have to say that although the title of the collection is the title of one of the stories, it fits the collection perfectly. Here's how I rated each story:
1. The Hoarder - I gave this one 5 of 5 rating. I thought it was amazingly written & I got wrapped up in the story & everything that was happening & it was interesting seeing how the main character's dark personality developed.
2. Gardener of Heart - I gave this one 3 of 5 rating, which means that I liked it. In this one, a brother returns home for his twin sister's funeral & goes through the memories of their childhood & although not one of my favorite stories in this collection, still was good.
3. Whom No Hate Stirs None Dances - 2.5 rating. This one was ok & I guess my least favorite. Overall, the story wasn't bad, it had that little mystery about what happened (although I guessed what it was) & it had that dark comical thing in the end...
4. Amazing Grace - 5 stars rating. This one was amazing story. After losing his sight, the main character founds his consolation in God & quite unintentionally becomes motivational speaker that tours around the country doing motivational speeches. But, suddenly, after over a decade of blindness, he gaines his sight & discovers that his life wasn't what he thought it was & after the initial shock, he got back to the ones that kept him in the dark. I did approve what he did because they deserved what they got & I liked the way he did, it, too & in the end, he got a happy ending, too, so I loved this story.
5. The Uninnocent - This one was really good story, creepy & mysterious, but I won't go into any details & I gave it 4.5 stars. 
6. Tsunami - I gave this one 3.5 rating. Overall, I enjoyed the story a lot, it was quite good &  interesting.
7. (Mis)laid - I gave this one 5 stars rating. This one was my 2nd favorite in this collection, because it was the most comical, & yet dark & it was differently written than the other stories in the collection. I won't go into details, except to say that in this story a man suddenly mislaid's his mind (goes crazy) & we follow why & what he's doing & how that ends up & yeah, I loved every second of it. I found it brilliantly written & funny.
8. All the Things that Are Wrong with Me - This one was a great story & I gave it 4.5 stars. It was the 2nd most comical story for me in this collection. In this story, John's therapist instruct's him to write about 7 things that are wrong with him & he does & we follow how he started in his childhood to collect & take care of stray animals & how that ended up. Overall, it was really interesting & the main character's thinking made me laugh more than once.
9. The Enigma of Grover's Mill - I gave this one 5 stars & this one was my top favorite story in the collection. Also, this one was the only one of the stories where I really liked the main character (Wyatt). I was wrapped up in the story from the beginning to the end & really felt for the character & I loved the creepiness & the mystery in it & I was actually really glad when he did what he did. Amazing story!
10. Ellie's Idea - I liked this one a lot & I gave it 3.5 stars, but I have to admit that this one was really weird (ok, all of these stories are a little weird, but this one was the weirdest for me). Ellie actually goes a little "crazy" & starts apologizing to everyone for every small or big wrong thing that she did, but they didn't know & with that, she makes lots of other problems. Everything isn't explained, but there are lots of hints of how can be interpreted, but in the end in depends on the reader. 
11. The Road to Nadeja - This story was really good & I gave it 4.5 stars. The main character is kleptomaniac, but it works for him only when he steals from people he likes or loves & he tooks only things that he knows will miss them a lot. We get to see his journey to finding himself again through finding Nadeja (which is a person).
12. Lush - I liked it & I gave it 3 stars. This one is told by 2 alternate point of views (James' & Ivy's). James loses his wife Margot in a car accident, in which Ivy stays alive, but really hurt, with long recovery before her. I won't really spoil the story with the important details, except to say that here we learn about James & Margot's life together & how Ivy recovers after the accident & how in the end he decides to honor Margot's death. Overall, another good story.

This was the second book by Bradford Morrow I've read. The first one was the novel The Diviner's Tale. As with that one, in all of these stories the author had created quite memorable characters, dark & creepy, yet uninnocent. The storytelling was superb & I'll say it again, although maybe not for everyone, quite amazing collection of stories. I'll definitely read them again. I also liked how he took some of the man's conditions (or maybe I should say illnesses) like addiction, hoarding, alcoholism, kleptomania, etc, & gave them a little twist in the stories, which I think it was quite imaginative done, refreshing, dark, creepy & a little comical at the same time. I highly recommend this collection of stories to everyone that loves good fiction. 



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