Author: Shane Hinton
Type of Book: Fiction, short stories, flash fiction
Why Do I Consider This Book Is Odd: Because it’s not immediately clear which Shane Hinton wrote this book.
Availability: Published by Burrow Press in 2015, you can get a copy here:
Comments: Shane Hinton has a bit of Jon Konrath in him, or maybe Jon has a bit of Shane in him. Or maybe they both have a bit of someone I have yet to read in them both. But this collection shows that Hinton has an eye and ear for the absurd in daily life, though he ventures into the speculative more than Konrath does. And I only mention Konrath because I found myself chugging NyQuil Cough formula like it was soda the other day and ended up having a bad dream about that infant-mouse-covered snake on the front of this book. In my dream the snake had charmed the mice like a sort of reptilian Charles Manson and they were ready to do his bidding, except I also think the snake was female. A lot of it I’ve forgotten, which is probably a good thing. But I did have the nightmare. That much I do know.
Before I begin to discuss this book in earnest, I want to mention that there is some interesting meta going on in this collection, and meta I have seen in other books recently. I don’t think it’s happening enough to call it a trend, but this summer I managed to read three books wherein the characters were named for the authors. Hank Kirton named a couple of characters in his short story collection Bleak Holiday after himself. Brian Whitney’s Raping the Gods sports a protagonist named Brian Whitney, which may be because the book is autobiographical (and I am afraid to find out if it is indeed autobiographical). And every male protagonist in Pinkies is Shane Hinton. One story boasts dozens of Shane Hintons.
I can feel the desire to go on at extraordinary lengths rising up because I genuinely enjoyed this collection, so I’m going to limit myself to the stories I liked best. Every story works on some level – there wasn’t a clunker to be found – but I decided to limit myself to four of the sixteen stories in this slim volume. Let us all cross our fingers that such a measure keeps my verbosity more or less in check, but I think it’s safe to say this is going to be very long, because this is a good collection and because this is the first book review on Odd Things Considered and I feel self-indulgent with celebratory bookishness.