I’m not usually a fan of short stories, so it’s pretty rare that I actually muck my way through an entire collection. That being said, Charles Yu’s first collection, Third Class Superhero, was one of those can’t-put-it-down reads. When the book arrived on my doorstep, I opened it and literally didn’t put it down until I was more than halfway through. I was so intrigued by the graphics and the layout that I started reading it immediately, and the stories themselves are just incredible. I don’t know where Yu gets his imagination, but it’s quite an imagination!
I think there’s a good chance that Charles Yu writes short stories even better than he writes novels (and I enjoyed How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe immensely!).
The stories in this collection are simply amazing. Perhaps the best word to describe them is “compelling.” Each story hooks you immediately with its unusual premise, and the character development happens so quickly that you’re already invested in the character(s) before you read more than a page. For me, this connection is typically what prevents me from enjoying short stories: I always feel like just when I’m starting to get to know a character, the story’s over and I never get to read about them again. Not so with Third Class Superhero. In fact, I liked the collection so much that before I had even finished it, I ordered Yu’s newest short story collection: Sorry Please Thank You. My advice to you: go out and get yourself something (anything!) Yu has written. You won’t regret it….
GOOD FOR: Lovers of creative tales, novel-readers who want to have a successful foray into the world of short stories, and anyone who’s been thinking about loneliness lately.
BAD FOR: Fans of stark realism, people looking for a collection of conventional short stories, and readers who are diametrically opposed to inventiveness.
GOOD WITH: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Raw Shark Texts, and One Good Story, That One.