Title: Fortune Smiles
Author: Adam Johnson
Publication Date: 8/13/15
How I Found It: NetGalley
Date Completed: 8/3/15
Summary: A collection of short stories
What I Thought: I absolutely loved Adam Johnson's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel from 2013, The Orphan Master's Son. That book was the first I had heard of Johnson and, after reading it, I became a fan. When I saw NetGalley offering chances to read and review Johnson's latest, this collection of short stories, my hopes were high.
Short story collections are always a bit tricky for me. It's so rare to pick up a collection and love every story in it, or to detest every story in it. Yet, there is something about encapsulating a story into just a few pages - the length of one chapter in a novel. I am realizing more and more that I like the format of short stories and should expose myself to more of them.
In this case, I had moments of adoring Johnson's writing style and direction, and moments of wondering why he chose certain pathways. Maybe that is the real beauty of short story collections. We get to step inside the author's mind and see several of those ideas that have been bouncing around waiting for an escape route.
Johnson maintains his character-driven approach, something I absolutely love. He sets his stories in unique circumstances, not all quite of this world in which we live. He stretches boundaries with ease and comfort, seemingly knowing just how far to take his reader. In many ways, I felt this collection was a series of stories on sadness or loneliness. The stories were not all fun or comfortable, but they were well developed and clearly written with thought and love.
I still do not love short story collections, but anthologies like these nudge me a little closer to fully appreciating their unique value.
Will I Re-Read: Maybe.
Other Books By Adam Johnson: The Orphan Master's Son
A Reduced Review: The character-driven writing that captured me in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel appears again in this collection of short stories.