McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales

McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales

McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling TalesShort story collections are perfect for those of us with the attention spans of your average sugar-addled ADD five-year-old. They provide a respite every twenty pages or so, and change styles enough to keep us interested in what’s going on. Luckily, McSweeney’s has really put together a group of winners here, including stories by the likes of Eggers, Chabon, Nick Hornby, and on and on and on. The index reads like a who’s who in the world of hipster literature. This tome even includes old standbys Michael Crichton, Stephen King and Elmore Leonard. The cool part is that a lot of the authors don’t necessarily write in the style for which they’re famous (the aforementioned authors excluded). Every story in the collection is in some way a grandiose tale of bigger-than-characters. You have cowboy stories, the occult, sci-fi stuff, ghost stories, detective tales, and lots of other tales of creepiness and weirdoes. There are only a couple real duds in the bunch (Karen Joy Fowler’s “Private Grave 9”–yuck), but for the most part things are cool. The most freakish tale is Rick Moody’s “The Albertine Notes,” which will haunt you for days after you finish it (if you can understand it, that is).