Dis Mem Ber is an excellent collection of stories previously published elsewhere. The only threads they have in common is that they are all from a woman's point of view, (except for WELCOME TO FRIENDLY SKIES!), and they are all unsettling.
My favorite had to be the first story, DISMEMBER, in which a young girl narrowly escapes what could have been a nasty end.
HEARTBREAK was the story of two sisters, one beautiful and the other, not so much. Sometimes jealousy can get out of hand, before we even realize we are jealous.
I also enjoyed BLUE HERON quite a bit. This is the story of a widow dealing with her grief while trying to avoid her scummy brother-in-law who wants her to sell her lake-house.
Lastly, WELCOME TO FRIENDLY SKIES! had to be one of the funniest stories I've read in years. I'm not going to say anything further about it, as I think it's best to go into it cold.
Overall, this was a satisfying collection of stories from one of the masters of American short fiction. Highly recommended!
You can get your copy here: DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense
*Thanks to NetGalley and Mysterious Press for the free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*
You Will Know Me is my first book by Megan Abbott. It will not be my last.
My on-line friend and author, Randy Chandler, recommended her work to me, and I filed it away under "authors to investigate." Then I ran across Ms. Abbott's intro to Ed Brubaker's FATALE: DELUXE EDITION and I liked her style, (AND I LOVED that incredible graphic novel), so when I saw You Will Know Me available at my local library on audio, I hopped on it.
In listening to this book, I experienced so much tension and apprehension, I couldn't wait to get back to it after being forced to, you know, work and feed my family. The narrator was fantastic and so was the story. I thought I had it all figured out early on, but I was only partly right. To me, it wasn't the mystery that appealed to me the most, in fact you might guess it right away. It was the way in which this tale was told that got to me; the family dynamics, their sacrifices and resentments all rang true, as did the characters of the family friends and fellow sports parents. (Gymnastics play a big part in this story and the parents of the children...well, some of them were just the worst.) Having dealt with similar parents when my son was growing up and playing baseball, all of this just felt like superior, honest, storytelling and to that I say BRAVO!
Killers of the Flower Moon is the true story of the slaughter of dozens of Osage Indians and how MANY people got away with it. It's SO over the top that if this were a fiction story I would say the author had overwritten it and that it wasn't realistic. David Grann has come at this story from two angles.
The Osage tribe reigned over much of the mid-west back in the day. By the time of this book, roughly the early 1920's, they were mostly moved onto what was thought to be worthless land in Oklahoma. Then oil was discovered there and their lives changed forever. The first angle was how the Osage were changed by the sudden influx of millions of dollars and how the white man viewed that; how they were jealous over that, and what they did about that.
The second angle comes from the law enforcement side of the story, and specifically the building up of the FBI. At the time the first murders occurred the FBI wasn't the FBI yet. By the time the investigation was in full swing, (keeping in mind that the Osage tribe had to basically beg and pay through the nose to get anyone to investigate or do anything at all about these murders), the FBI was officially called that and Mr. Hoover was in charge.
There is a third portion of the book, not exactly another angle, but a portion so unbelievable yet proven,(to my mind at least), to be true that it actually brought tears to my eyes. I can't get into more detail but trust me on this: it was horrifying. It was shameful. It was a wrong that's never been righted and I don't believe it ever can be.
Bravo to Mr. Grann for his extensive research on this case. A case that, until now, I had never heard of. That is an injustice. I believe Mr. Grann has done his damnedest to bring to light the wrongs that were committed here, and that alone is the only justice that the Osage can hope for at this late date.
I think we owe it to the Osage to read this book, and as such, I highly recommend it.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Random House/Doubleday for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*