As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

June 8, 2015

ODDLY ENOUGH by Bruce Coville, 1994

Readers take a walk on the odd side with this fantasic collection of Burce Coville's best short stories--both classics and originals. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Emily, bibliophile and perpetual student

This anthology of stories is indeed odd - chilling, hilarious, beautiful, and just plain weird. They range from the mock-horror story "Duffy's Jacket" to the horrifyingly twisted "Old Glory".

There's the story "With His Head Tucked Underneath His Arm", about a man wrongfully executed, and the transcendent "Homeward Bound", a story of transformation and forgiveness.

However, my two favorite stories from this anthology are the first and the last: "The Box" and "A Blaze of Glory".

"The Box" is about a boy named Michael, who is asked to take care of a box by an angel; he knows he's an angel because of the white wings he wears. And he never opens it, because the angel asked him not to. Of course, it's not nearly as easy to take care of the angel's box as Michael might have thought, but he tries his best anyway. It's a short little gem of a story, and I recommend it highly.

"A Blaze of Glory" is actually two stories - the tale of a man taking care of his terminally ill grandmother, and the story she tells him in her more lucid moments about an incident in her past that she had nearly forgotten - though those she touched have not forgotten her.

ODDLY ENOUGH proves that Bruce Coville's range of styles is huge, and also that he can write short stories (something that he admits he doesn't believe in the end note).

Market: Middle Grade fiction
Language: None
Sensuality: Mild (in "The Language of Blood" and "The Passing of the Pack")
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: The true meaning of patriotism, the nature of love, sacrifice.

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