It has been a great reading week this week! I’ve been moving slowly through Steven Millhauser’s Dangerous Laughter, a book of short stories that I’m reading for the March Book Menage over at Citizen Reader. I don’t read short story collections very often, but so far I am quite enjoying it. I’m used to just reading short stories one at a time, which is very different from reading them as a collection. Millhauser has the book divided into sections, so it’s fun to read each story and see how it ties into the next one.
The first story is called “Cat ‘N’ Mouse” and is about the epic battle between a cat and a mouse. Millhauser essentially writes out a Tom and Jerry cartoon, but gives the cat and mouse psychological motivations. What I like most about the story is that Millhauser takes something familiar and makes it a little quirky and deviant, a theme that runs through all the stories in the collection.
The other thing I like about reading Dangerous Laughter is that I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t read any reviews, no criticism, no opinions from friends or professors. It’s fun going into a book that I get to consider only in the context of my own opinions. I suspect the review is going to be a lot of fun to write once I finish the book!
What is your favorite short story collection? Do you like reading short stories on their own, or as part of a collection?