Author: Colum McCann
Title: Thirteen Ways of Looking
Narrator: Colum McCann
Publication Info: Random House Audio, 2015
Previously Read by the Same Author: Let the Great World Spin and Transatlantic
That Colum McCann sure can write! This collection of four stories shows McCann’s skill at stringing together sentences, developing characters, and creating entire worlds through rich description in just a short space of time. The stories include:
- “Thirteen Ways of Looking” – recreates an elderly, retired judge’s last day shifting between his own perspective and what is recreated from surveillance video.
- “What Time Is It Now, Where You Are?” – an author commissioned to write a New Year’s story begins with the concept of a solitary soldier on duty in Afghanistan but the spirals out control adding additional characters, details, and settings.
- “Sh’khol”- a woman on the coast of Ireland loses her deaf and developmentally disabled son swimming in the ocean and reflects on her life as she devolves into panic.
- “Treaty” – an elderly nun once held hostage by a guerrilla insurgency recognizes her captor, the man who raped and tortured her, on television posing as a peace activist.
This is definitely a good introduction to McCann’s writing and if you’ve enjoyed his other works a fine addition to his body of work.
Recommended books: Life Form by Amélie Nothomb