Jack Attack

Posted by: John

Jack Attack - 07/17/99 11:56 AM

My copy arrived yesterday afternoon. I have finished the first story and am attempting to resisit skipping directly to the title story, the subject of which I find of particular interest. I always assume, perhaps in correctly, that a short story compilation is ordered in a particular way and should be read in order.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Jack Attack - 07/19/99 09:54 AM

Sorry to be so slow answering, John; this is my first time online since I left Pittsburgh.

There's a rule of thumb for story order in anthologies: best story first, second-best story last, and third-best story as near to the middle as possible. It's a rule not slavishly adhered to, but it's a guideline most anthologists find helpful.

But that's anthologies, not single-author collections. This is my only experience with a collection and I don't know of any equivalent rule; the editor just left the order up to me. I tried to arrange the stories in a sequence that would make for agreeable reading for someone who's never read them before. I thought a "caper" story would be a good way to ease into the collection, and I didn't want to put something as light as "Ho Ho Ho" immediately after "Jack Be Quick", etc.

In other words, it's all guesswork -- like everything else in publishing.
Posted by: John

Re: Jack Attack - 07/19/99 10:34 AM

Well, in that case, perhaps I will skip directly to Jack . . . I wonder why publishing is so far behind other industries in micromanaging every aspect of it market . . . perhaps there is still some artistic sensibility in it?
Posted by: Kay

Re: Jack Attack - 07/19/99 02:16 PM

So, based on that logic, my saving Barbara's contribution to "First Lady Murders" to last, means I am saving the best for last (which of course I knew already)

I've actually been skipping around and carefully putting off all the Edith Wilson stories to read together.

So, pray tell, how do we know which is the "worst" story?
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Jack Attack - 07/20/99 09:32 AM

Anthologists never admit there is a "worst" one, Kay. At least, not in public.
Posted by: Kay

Re: Jack Attack - 07/20/99 10:34 AM

Presumably the really bad ones don't make the cut. Speaking "generally" here, as I am sure Barbara has never written a really bad story

And readers of anthologies, whether by the same author or by several, will have a "favorite" and probably find at least one they don't like.

[This message has been edited by Kay (edited 07-20-99).]
Posted by: John

Re: Jack Attack - 07/21/99 04:07 PM

I did as I threatened and skipped to the end to read Jack. Great Story! Of course this raises my expectations for everything in between Sloshed Chicken and Jack :-)
Posted by: Barbara

Re: Jack Attack - 07/22/99 10:53 AM

Thanks, John; glad you liked it. What's in between the two end stories is a smorgasbord. "Samplings", let's call them.

I mentioned in the intro that I don't think any of the usual suspects was the Ripper. I suspect his real name never even came up during that exhaustive investigation.
Posted by: John

Re: Jack Attack - 07/22/99 06:42 PM

I remember hearing about a story were the Ripper was Jill, not Jack. Con't recall when or where though. Anyone ever read that one?
Posted by: Jon

Re: Jack Attack - 07/22/99 08:47 PM

I just finished the last story (Jack) today; I've been forcing myself to space out the experience more than I usually would (I tend to devour books), to prolong the pleasure. I read it all in order, like the nice well-raised boy that I am.

I loved 'em all. Lovely variety and contrast from one to the next. I will venture to say that, although I enjoyed "French Asparagus" as much as the others, I'm worried that I didn't get everything in it. Is there an unspoken undertone that I'm somehow missing? I'm nervous about possibly having missed the significance of asparagus here.