Overdue: Fringe Folk


010) Folk of the Fringe by Orson Scott Card, finished March 9

I don't know when I first heard of this book. Certainly well after it was published. Certainly long before today. I purchased my copy new from the BYU Bookstore on some occasion . . . my graduation? last time on campus before leaving Utah? something like that. It seemed an appropriate choice given it's significance in Mormon lit. It's still, in some respects, arguably the best very Mormon book from a very Mormon writer. At least to hear people talk about it. It's part of your first $17 investment in the field, after all.

Perhaps it's the weight of great expectations that explains why I don't love it like I'm supposed to. After all, not only is this allegedly the Best Mormon Book ever, it's also short stories from one of my all-time favorite short-story writers. That's a lot of expectations to be saddled with.

Anyway, I don't have specific complaints. Stories range from the thrilling to the provocative to the familial, and Card's evocation of character and place are as strong as ever. Were I to write a serious review, I would mostly discuss what what great about these stories. But this isn't a review I'm writing---it's a personal response, and that response is disappointment in not being blown away.

Perhaps this feeling is representative of how far the field has come in 30 years. Perhaps 30 years ago, being unprecedented, this book stood so far above its (nonexistent) competition that it was like Chimney Rock. Now it's more like Bryce Amphitheater.

Again: I'm not knocking this book at all. It's only failure is not being as unique as once it was. Perhaps that should be chalked up as another of its successes.
about nine months

Previously in 2016

10 – 10
010) Folk of the Fringe by Orson Scott Card, finished March 9

5 – 9
009) The Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim by Robert Beck, finished February 29
008) Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer, finished Feb 20
007) Bless this Mouse by Lois Lowry, finished February 16
006) Dendo by Brittany Long Olsen, finished February 14

1 – 4
004) Mormon Shorts, Vol I by Scott Hales, finished January 23
003) Shirt in Heaven by Jean Valentine, finished January 18
002) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, finished January 14
001) Spy School by Stuart Gibbs, finished January 9


* most recent post in this series *


final booky posts of
2015 = 2014 = 2013 = 2012 = 2011 = 2010 = 2009 = 2008 = 2007

1 comment:

  1. .

    Just discovered that the dream image of the Americas as unfurled wings from the story "America" comes from Isaiah 18. Or, more precisely, Hyrum Smith's interpretation of Isaiah's wings. This was repeated by others including at least JFS.