Short story collections are my jam. They’re typically readable, I can sit down, read a story, and get back up without worrying about losing my place in the larger narrative arc. You can encounter a fantastically weird story alongside a quiet family drama, sci-fi mixed in with historical fiction. A good collection can have all (or some, or none) of these things.
I’ve mentioned I love quirky. And fantastical. Bizarre. Unique. Come West and See has a little bit of everything good, including lust, politics, and the American West. Most of the stories are linked, set in the American West (Montana, Idaho, and Oregon), and perfectly capture the aggressive individualism found more often in these rural outposts. An armed occupation of a wildlife refuge – think the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff – is the primary link between the stories, but loneliness, frustration, and rage also run throughout.
“Ways to Kill a Tree”, “Stay Here”, and “We’re in this Together You Know, God” are highlights, but the collection is solid and worth your time, especially if your interested in the (fictional) exploration of the chasm that divides the nation, especially regarding land politics, in the American West.
P.S. How amazing is that cover?