An interestingly diverse collection of short stories...
A succinct, precise style allows for no less than 30 short stories to be cloistered within the 137 pages that constitutes In all Probability. Unlike most anthologies, there is no decisive theme; or, perhaps if it does, it is dissolution: a dream, a desire, a problem, a success, or a belief – all coming to an end – one way or another.
“My tune” seems familiar to me, the notion of an individual finding worth in something seemingly trivial only to discover it is a link to a child, a sibling, a parent or a lover that they had never known. Some are written with a wry sense of humour, others feel much more personal. I prefer the humorous ones - the ghost story “Shared House”, my favourite for seeing the funny side more than the scare factor.
The trouble with short story compilations is that they rarely achieve the dizzying heights enjoyed by full-blown novels. Their very nature precludes the readers’ ability to invest emotionally or intellectually; too bitty, too abrupt and divested of the prospect of growing and learning with a set cast of characters, it takes an extraordinary talent to succeed. What In all Probability does for Morris is set out his stall. Clearly, he has an active imagination and some skill; but the overall book lacked editorial handiwork as is so often the case with self-publications. I would prefer to see Morris take a stab at a novel, following a specific genre rather than another hedge-all-bets collection.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012