We’re closing in on the end of this book! It’s been really nice reading this over the course of several weeks, because I feel like I’m really getting to spend time with the stories instead of just zooming through them to get to the end and move on to the next book. I will definitely have to try to try this with short story collections in the future! It’s also nice because I’m finding favorite stories each week, rather than ending up with one favorite story of the whole book, as often happens, although I think this week’s favorite story might be the winner of the latter crown, because, yes. Amazing. But let’s get to that, shall we?
“In the End”
Ohhhhhh. I am so glad I am both listening to these stories and reading them, because when I listened to this, it was too short and I apparently missed the point entirely, which is that this is a reverse retelling of the Garden of Eden story. Reverse. Yes. Excellent. And intriguing. But also only half a page, so I’m not sure I have much else to say. Moving on!
Yes. This. Fantastic. Best story. And it really reinforces my position that it shouldn’t matter if you’ve done the homework to enjoy a story based in other stories. I managed to completely forget that this was supposed to be a story of The Matrix, even through the bits with the déjà vu, which are excellent, by the way, though I did finally remember once I got to the weird alien ship thing. But even then I was like, oh, right, and just moved on, because it’s a story of The Matrix‘s world, not of its characters, and Gaiman’s own character is fascinating in his own right. I love how he deals with the déjà vu, how he manages to get into the military, and how he deals with the harsh reality of his creators. And the last line, which is probably not too spoiler-ful: “But the last twenty minutes have been the best years of my life.”
“Pages From a Journal Found in a Shoebox Left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Louisville, Kentucky”
And… this is the opposite. I have no idea what’s going on here. There’s a chick, and she’s travelling, and she’s looking for Scarlet, and aside from being intrigued by Friday the 32nd, and being pretty sure that this chick is actually Scarlet, I’ve got nothing.
“How to Talk to Girls at Parties”
Well. I had the twist of this story called as soon as I saw the line “‘They’re just girls,’ said Vic. ‘They don’t come from another planet.'” And I could really have done without the going on and on about alien things. But, otherwise, this was a pretty spot-on story about being a teenager and trying to talk to girls at parties. I love that Enn is just terrified of talking to the ladies, and that when he does he’s so concerned about the actual talking part that he just completely forgets to listen and even when he’s listening he’s just like, whatever, must focus on chatting up this nice-looking girl. AND that he reads more than he talks and therefore mispronounces contradictory. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me. I really must get out more!