by Karen Russell
I'm not often drawn to short story collections, but I liked Russell's Swamplandia! so much that I decided to give this collection a try. The stories were creative, fantastical, mind-bending. The audio was enhanced by having a different reader for each story. In one, a massage therapist working with an Iraq war veteran finds that her healing powers can extend to his mind--when she uses her hands to manipulate his tattoo. Young girls recruited to a silk spinning factory in Japan find themselves transformed into silkworms themselves. It's Team Krill vs. Team Whale in the Food Chain Games in Dougbert Shackleton's Rules for Antarctic Tailgating. Former U.S. Presidents find themselves reincarnated as horses in The Barn at the End of Our Term. The settings, characters, and moods of the stories are wildly diverse, and even if you don't love every story, there is something here for most folks.