Title: The Inner City
Author: Karen Heuler
Published: Febuary 13th, 2013
Heuler’s stories dart out at what the world is doing and center on how the individual copes with it. Anything is possible: people breed dogs with humans to create a servant class; beneath one great city lies another city, running it surreptitiously; an employee finds that her hair has been stolen by someone intent on getting her job; strange fish fall from trees and birds talk too much; a boy tries to figure out what he can get when the Rapture leaves good stuff behind. Everything is familiar; everything is different. Behind it all, is there some strange kind of design or merely just the chance to adapt? In Heuler’s stories, characters cope with the strange without thinking it’s strange, sometimes invested in what’s going on, sometimes trapped by it, but always finding their own way in.
I received a copy of The Inner City from the author in exchange for an honest review.
*This is one of my older reviews*
I really enjoyed this series of short stories. It was fun to see the strange and rather creepy elements that were incorporated into each of the stories and I found myself genuinely shocked quite a bit of the time. Even some of the more docile stories like “Fish Wish” that weren’t as scary as the others left a lasting impression on me. My favorites among the stories were probably as follows, “Down On the Farm”, “The Escape Artist”, “Creating Cow”, “How Lightly He Stepped in the Air”, and “Thick Water”. The sense of wonder I was left with is something I sometimes have trouble finding when reading although its a part of it that I really enjoy. Being left with questions after you read is something that helps it seem like the characters are real and breathing out there somewhere instead of taking up space on paper. Karen Heuler has made her characters come to life and I highly recommend The Inner City to those who don’t cringe at strange and peculiar happenings.
Have you read any of Karen Heuler’s work? What do you think of short stories in general?