Author: Lydia Schoch (Twitter)
Genre: Mixed genres
Reading time: 45 minutes to an hour
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
There is a cynicism in the world that no review that doesn't have a twinkle of criticism is trustworthy; so be it if you feel that way about this review.
The stories in Lydia Schoch's "Waiting for Earl to Die" are the kind I most enjoy: strange and mysterious, with hints of science fiction or dystopia without overt explanations. She introduces you to her worlds through her stories and leaves you (the reader) to imagine the rest. My personal opinion is that this is the hallmark of a writer who understands the short story construct perfectly. There are no wasted words.
As for the plots of the different stories, the common thread is the feeling that "something is not quite right" as you read through them. You keep waiting for the hammer to fall. Sometimes it is does gloriously, other times it is much more subtle. Stories such as "The Proof" shine especially bright as interesting and unique stories that provoke thought.
To read the whole book in one sitting would not be a stretch, most could finish it within an hour. Each story is between a five or 10-minute read, depending on how quickly you go. Either way, unless you just don't like these kinds of stories, you will find yourself mildly disappointed that there isn't at least one more story to read. It's an excellent collection, well worth the time!
My picks are a collection of reviews from fellow short story authors. I've tried to procure stories from different genres, from a wide variety of authors. Most importantly, you'll know how long it will take you to finish reading them.
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