The Wonders of the Invisible World
Gollancz, 1999; 257 pages.
I tend to say that I don’t really enjoy reading short-story collections, but I don’t think this is necessarily true, so don’t believe me if I ever tell you that.
Take, for example, David Gates and his 1999 collection, The Wonders of the Invisible World. This taut, angry, perfect set of stories just blew me away. Gates’ characters are raw, honest, and utterly believable. They are intimidated by love. They are undone by bad habits. They forgive and hurt each other.
One of the outstanding strengths of this story collection is Gates’ remarkable ability to replicate dialogue. It has been a long time since I have read such real, flawless, effortless conversations between fictional people. Even if the stories don’t interest you, this feature alone should keep you riveted to these stories.
I want to keep calling this collection “pitch-perfect American fiction.” And so that’s what I’ll leave you with. Read it; you won’t be disappointed.