Sunday, July 03, 2011
Reader's Diary #730- Lynn Coady: Play the Monster Blind
Small towns are known gossip mills. Having lived most of my life in small towns, I can't say that's just a stereotype. They are. And reading Lynn Coady's Play the Monster Blind might lead one to believe that at the heart of all this gossip is insecurity. But this is not my way, or Lynn Coady's way, of suggesting that city folks are above that. I think city folks are just as insecure, that's a human condition, but unlike rural folk, they can survive it through anonymity. Anonymity is not a luxury in a small town.
Despite such potentially cynical and depressing themes, the short stories in Coady's stories are often amusing and sometimes so accurate that I confused them with satire. I can't praise these stories enough. Pinpoint accurate description, dialogue, and characterization, I was reminded somewhat of Margaret Laurence, if only Margaret Laurence had a sense of humour. Brilliant collection and will definitely be in my top 10 reads of this year.
*Play the Monster Blind was part of a failed experiment I attempted this year, along with John Valliant's The Tiger. The idea was to leave these 2 books in the van for the times I found myself waiting for my wife to run into the store, etc. It works unless your wife insists on removing them from said van whenever she decides to clean it.