Some people believe that short stories don’t have enough meat. Well, pull up to the buffet and fill up on Bill Gaston’s Gargoyles—some of the best short stories I’ve read in years. As Gaston wrote each of these gems, mostly centered on the subtle undercurrents of family relationships, he sketched out a gargoyle, perhaps for inspiration or to act as a guardian over his words. Boy, it worked. Filled with tension, a few highlights include children burying their uncle in the sand with a shocking result, and a bereaved father who seeks out parents of other runaway kids to warn them about being too hard on their children. Perfect.
Sue Carter Flinn
category: best of 2006