Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book Review: A Sense of Order and Other Stories by Jack Harrell

Title: A Sense of Order and Other Stories
Author: Jack Harrell
Enjoyment Rating: 9/10
Referral: I bought this book a few months ago but only got around to reading it this week because he was visiting campus.
Source: I think I ordered it from Amazon but I can't remember
Books I've read this year: 144

I've read a lot of bad books lately. When I picked up Jack Harrell's A Sense of Order and Other Things earlier this week, I worried that it would be one more thing on my "have to read" list for school. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised, delighted even, at Harrell's stories. In fact, after reading A Sense of Order, I have officially revised my "I don't like short stories" opinion. Sure, there are still short stories I don't like, but I'm not going to pooh-pooh the genre any more.

Jack Harrell's writing gives me hope that the LDS tradition does have room for excellent writing, and that there is an audience for that writing, even if it's a small one. His stories take place in settings as varied as rural Illinois, Rexburg, ID, the office of the prophet, and the lone and dreary world. Not all of his characters are LDS, but many are. Some of the stories contain supernatural elements. But all of the stories, regardless of setting or worldview, feel very real and grounded. They also contain an element of hope and faith. I'm eager to read more of Harrell's work, and hope to become one of the people who can ride on his coattails as a writer.

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