Title: The Thing About Great White Sharks
Author: Rebecca Adams Wright
Publisher: Little A (Amazon Publishing)
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours
In this collection’s richly imagined title story, our brutal and resourceful protagonist is determined to protect her family from a murderous, shark-ridden world—at any cost. Elsewhere, an old woman uncovers a sinister plot while looking after a friend’s plants (“Orchids”), and a girl in the war-torn countryside befriends an unlikely creature (“Keeper of the Glass”). In “Barnstormers,” a futuristic flying circus tries to forestall bankruptcy with one last memorable show. At the heart of “Sheila” is the terrible choice a retired judge must make when faced with the destruction of his beloved robotic dog, and “Yuri, in a Blue Dress” follows one of the last survivors of an alien invasion as she seeks help.
Extending from World War II to the far future, these fifteen stories offer a gorgeously observed perspective on our desire for connection and what it means to have compassion—for ourselves, for one another, for our past…and for whatever lies beyond.
I really enjoy short story anthologies, but I had no idea what a fucking treat The Thing About Great White Sharks would be. (I'm using coarse language to convey feeling, not my trashiness, by the way.) This is literary fiction just the way I like it - with a little bit of magical realism, a touch of sci-fi, and a mix of something else. It's shocking, horrible, and wonderful, all rolled into one.
My favorite two stories in the collection are "The Thing About Great White Sharks" and "Sheila". "Sheila", the first story in the collection, broke my heart into a million pieces and blew me away. Sheila, the titular character, is John's, the protagonist, Brittany spaniel, who also happens to be a robot. He's had her for 25+ years, bought when his wife was dying, and has become illegal to own because of the Ginger Creek incident. "Sheila" made me stop and consider the way breeds are treated and how responsible pet owners are usually the ones who suffer the most from bans. "The Thing About Great White Sharks" left me wanting more than I got, in the very best way possible. Jennifer, the main character, is a government test subject after an unknown disease causes all living things to attack and try to kill Homo sapiens. She is forced to battle various creatures so the results can be studied as the government searches for a cure. I think we need an entire book about her, mmkay?
I enjoyed most of the stories, but I will say that "What to Expect When You're Expecting an Alien Parasite", "Melville Loves Hawthorne", and "The Other Husband" went right over my head. If there was an underlying theme in any of them, they were beyond me. (I think "What to Expect When You're Expecting an Alien Parasite" may have just been humorous, but I'm making no guesses.) Other than those three, I have no other issues with The Thing About Great White Sharks. It is glorious.
If you're not a reader of short stories, I highly recommend that you start with this one. There is a little bit of something for everyone, and with each story being only a few pages long, The Thing About Great White Sharks is a great book to pick up and set down (good luck with that!) as time allows. I will guarantee that you'll find something you like here. (I bet you're a fan of "Orchids", just you see.)
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About the Author
Rebecca Adams Wright is a 2011 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop and a former University of Michigan Zell Writing Fellow. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan and has won the Leonard and Eileen Newman Writing Prize.
Rebecca lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her husband and daughter.
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Follow the Tour
The Thing About Great White Sharks Tour Schedule
Friday, February 13th
Book Snob – author guest post
Monday, February 16th
No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, February 17th
Bound by Words
Wednesday, February 18th
From the TBR Pile
Thursday, February 19th
Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Friday, February 20th
Life is Story
Monday, February 23rd
Tuesday, February 24th
Bibliotica – review & author guest post
Tuesday, February 24th
Savvy Verse and Wit – author guest post
Wednesday, February 25th
Thursday, February 26th
The Relentless Reader
Monday, March 2nd
A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Tuesday, March 3rd
Thursday, March 5th
Monday, March 9th
Thursday, March 12th
The Book Binder’s Daughter – author guest post
5 Minutes for Books
Ends at 12:01am EST on March 13th
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.