2006 Books Read – #3

The Two-Headed Calf by Sandra Birdsell

The Two-Headed Calf

This was a collection of short stories. Some were loosely connected (same town, characters from one story mentioned in another, that sort of thing) while others weren’t connected except via geography (they were all set in the prairies, mostly Manitoba). I don’t know if I liked that. I think maybe I like it better when the stories in a collection are either all separate or all connected. I never really thought about that before, but it occurred to me here. I guess the mixture makes it seem kind of “well, this is what I had on hand…”

These stories were very readable, but they didn’t wow me. I’m not sure why (the back cover had kudos from writers who do wow me–Alice Munro and Michael Ondaatje and Jane Urquhart, which is probably why I picked it up in the first place). Maybe I’m just prairied out. Perhaps I shouldn’t have read two Manitoba-based books in a row. I thought it was a good segue. On second thought, I don’t think that’s it. I think I just didn’t connect with the characters. I’m sure others would find them appealing, I just wasn’t having those “yes!” moments that you do when writing really resonates.

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