I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of short stories, as I often feel inadequate in my comprehension of what it is the author is really trying to convey. On more than a few occasions I've finished a story and thought, “Did I miss something?” This is not a question that I enjoy asking, nor does it help with my literary confidence. I then will take a step back and process the details, making sure to point out that writing is art, and it can be interpreted in a million different ways by a million different people. In the end I try to convince myself that I am just a person who requires a lot of information and character development to actually get it.
Rhymes with Useless was a little less harsh on my ego, but there were still a few moments where I felt I’d missed the boat. None the less, Terence Young has compiled 13 stories that accent honest characters, living day-to-day, with real issues. From a child’s perspective of her parents’ failing relationship, to a teenager’s first experience with love, to a young couple settling into the doldrums of a marriage, to a middle aged woman’s struggle with her faith, and to an elderly man’s evaluation of his years, the whole spectrum of individuals was represented. Amidst the feelings of remorse and regret, the thoughts of revenge, the hidden desires, as well as the sometimes revolting truths that surfaced as a result of people just honestly being people, it is apparent that Young has an astounding sense of the common man and his/her idiosyncrasies. Those who favour short stories will surely not be disappointed by this Canadian talent.