Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Review: Monkey Number 100030338732 and Other Stories by C.C. Hogan
Monkey Number 100030338732 and Other Stories
genre: science fiction short stories
Find it at Amazon
I’m not usually a big fan of short stories. I prefer longer works. I mean, if I’m enjoying a story I just want it to go on longer. A bite sized snack that just doesn’t satisfy. Another thing I often struggle with is that in a collection of stories maybe one or two grab me but the rest are either flat or just not on the same level. It’s hard to maintain energy and consistency across stories that are usually crafted separately. So when I picked up C.C. Hogan’s collection of four short stories entitled Monkey Number 100030338732 and Other Stories and I was extremely pleasantly surprised.
Hogan offers up four captivating stories, each with an interesting premise, clean execution and an unexpected ending that kept me hooked. Each tale starts out with the barest bones, an absence of context that the author then builds on one brick at a time until you find yourself living within the well constructed walls of a superb story. Hogan manages to maintain this level of storytelling throughout the entire collection.
I won’t break down the stories individually. I didn’t read anything about them until I dove into the first one and I couldn’t put the book down until I finished the last one. When I later read the blurb on the stories I was glad I hadn’t known what was going on. The slow reveal is so engaging.
I will say that I loved the second and fourth stories the best. The New Futurist is a tiny little thread that twists and winds through your brain—the very style of the prose reflecting the mindset of the main character. The Glass Blower, which makes up the final half of this volume is by far the most in depth story in the book, and hints at what a longer work by this author might be like.
Of course, now that I’m done with the book, I really wish there were more. I would love to see what Hogan can do with a novel length offering. Hint, hint.