This is a collection of short stories by author Kij Johson. I had heard nothing about this author nor any of her stories. Honestly, I’m not even sure what peaked my interest enough to throw this book into my queue at the library. My review will actually include a separate review for each short story noted below beginning with “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” in this post. I wanted to ensure I reviewed each short story on it’s own so as I have spare time I will read each so it may take me a while to get through them all.
- 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss
- Fox Magic
- Names for Water
- The Bitey Cat
- The Horse Raiders
- Dia Chjerman’s Tale
- My Wife Reincarnated as a Solitaire
- Schrodinger’s Cathouse
- Chenting, in the Land of the Dead
- The Empress Jingu Fishes
- At the Mouth of the River of Bees
- Story Kit
- Wolf Trapping
- The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles
- The Man Who Bridged the Mist
- The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of
26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss
The story begins with the main character Aimee attending the strangest show. 26 monkeys go up a ladder and into a bath tub suspended in the air and then, the tub releases on one side to reveal there are no monkeys in the tub.
After the show Aimee approaches the man who owns the show and the 26 monkeys and she winds up buying the show for a dollar.
This is where the story truly began for me as Aimee tries to grasp the purpose of this show, where the monkeys go, and more importantly why the monkeys come back. Every time they come back, the monkeys show up with trinkets and other oddities they picked up from the mysterious places they go. We are informed quickly that the trick of the disappearing monkeys is not an illusion or special effect and that Aimee has no control over what happens.
I too was intrigued by the story, though I did start out a little perplexed of where the story was going and what the point was. This turned quickly into a clear story that I couldn’t wait to finish.
The end of the story brought a smile, and left me wanting more, which is one way I use to determine if a story was well thought out. The only qualm I had was the boyfriend. Not enough is known about him, though I doubt he is important to the story other than giving more information as to Aimee’s lack of direction in life. I could have done without him, but he was very brief in the story, just seemed out of place.
I am looking forward to reading the remaining short stories in this book as this one definitely provided a great deal of entertainment and mystery.