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(5 out of 5 stars) by Matthew Pursley

I normally don't pick up short story collections. I generally prefer long-form writing with more meat on its bones. New Fables 2007 has made me reconsider that preference. While the stories herein are shorter than my typical fare, they have such depth and quality of writing that length ceases to matter: they pull you in and hold on right to the end. The stories are by turns mythic, whimsical, poignant, and thought-provoking.

These aren't Aesop's fables: relatively simple stories with straightforward morals that can be easily passed on orally. They take full advantage of the easy production and distribution of modern printing, indulging in detailed characters, twists and turns, and messages subtle enough that sometimes one is left wondering if the author was just telling a good story and the speculation about deeper meanings is all in one's head.

I heartily recommend this collection to any reader, even if it isn't his or her usual genre of choice.
14 October, 2008
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