I loved this story (re: "Pearl"). Kinda charming, too. The trick is the sentences. They're quick and smart. Miller really knows when to tell you and when to let the mystery linger.
Loved this story (re: "Not All Who Wander Are Lost"). Mary Miller is kicking so much ass right now.
Loved this story (re: "Even the Interstate is Pretty"). It's funny and dark and sad and confused. And quick. The dialogue serves real function, nudging the plot and getting the most out of every word. I get these characters, I feel for them, I puzzled over them. Yes! Stories should make you think!
The stories are very good. Very, very good. After reading them, I went online and read most everything I could find of hers there... I love the way something core in her work hints at the essential mystery that is our human existence and how she gets at what lurks underneath the minutia of our daily lives during our short time on this planet. I am, without a doubt, profoundly envious of her work.
Big World is a world of wonder. A powerful collection by an amazing writer, these stories stun and delight.
Miller writes these scenarios well - never seeming to go too far into grittiness or despair, going just far enough to get her point across. Beyond this grittiness, Miller also shows herself to having a fairly dark sense of humor.
The stories in Mary Miller's Less Shiny remind me how I want to write. They do what a good short story should do: capture a chunk of time. But they do it in a way that is not "systematic" or "contrived."
i feel like i liked mary miller's book LESS SHINY more than any other book i have read recently.
Mary Miller's Less Shiny is a near-perfect chapbook, full of prose that's as cutting as it is funny, and I can't recommend it enough.