The name as seen on the cover of this short story collection by Michel Faber is vertically placed. Apart from the fact that it echoes the rain of the title, it is, I think, an obtuse reference to the vertigo-inducing variety of stories that populate the book. It seems to be a conspiracy by the cover designer and the author, some sort of dramatic irony intended to be decoded by the reader. Inhabiting this book are fifteen individual worlds not just on earth but some seemingly different planets as well. Faber mixes up genres with alarming insanity but it works. There is sci-fi story next to the post-modern story, a librarian’s nightmare but a short story reader’s delight. I don’t know what to expect each time I finish a story. I do have some favourites, “Some Rain Must Fall”, “The Crust of Hell”, “Pidgin American” and “The Tunnel of Love”. The others are quietly magnificent. But these few stories push the boundaries of the short story as I had known before. The one common factor that binds all the stories seems to be this sense of waiting, very Godot-ish in its execution. Most of the characters seem to be waiting for something while missing the startling beauty of their present extraordinary lives. And whatever happens seems to be outside the framework of the short story. Read this collection for the sheer joy of experiencing the unexpected.
PS: S, muchas gracias por este libro magnifico!