Blow-Up and Other Stories
I read many collections of short stories and I often find that they are like pop albums: a few catchy numbers up front followed by fillers, repeats and instrumental versions. But every one of these stories is entirely interesting, including “The Distances” which I admit I didn’t understand at all, even the second time through.
Many of these stories exist in the territory of terror and awe, but the three I liked best were all occasions of sustained compassion, and each revolved around a death. “At Your Service” is about a paid mourner who ends up grieving for real. “The Gates of Heaven” is about the death of a dancing girl. The novella “The Pursuer”, based on the last days of Charlie Parker, is so convincing that I fell for it hook, line and sinker and believed I was reading an actual memoir, that he must have actually sat in a
If you enjoy this, make sure you read ‘Cronopios and Famas’, Cortazar’s playful eccentric book of tiny stories and prose poems – there’s nothing like it.