I am an Executioner: Love Stories by Rajesh Parameswaran – Book 28

I don’t usually pick up books of short stories, but since I like to be a somewhat well-rounded reader, this Barnes and Nobles Discover New Writers summer 2012 pick appealed to me.  “I am an Executioner: Love Stories” by Rajesh Parameswaran (say that name 3 times fast!) had a title that was intriguing, considering executioners kill people.

I started to summarize each short story, and then got a little bored of that tactic, but here are a few below:

The Infamous Bengal Ming: Told from the point of view of a tiger, Ming is so in love with his trainer that he accidentally mauls and kills him.  He proceeds on his journey with all good intentions, only to continue to cause chaos.  This is my FAVORITE story because of Ming’s struggle between domestication and natural wild instincts.

The Strange Career of Dr. Raju Gopalarajan: This one confused me, although the author won an award for it.  A man is fired from CompUSA, and decides to impersonate a doctor, only to, of course, not to so well.  That part I understood, but the ending left me a little stumped.

Four Rajeshes: This is a story about a homosexual man who gives love in harsh ways (love accompanied by painful swats for whatever he feels like).  One day, a man enters his life, bothers him immensely with his strange-looking writing, and disappears from his life, only to permeate his mind.

On the Banks of the Table River:  What a cool story!  Told from the alien’s perspective from the planet Lucina, these “insects” try to adapt to living on a planet where humans enjoy visiting.  At the same time, it seems that a native child, Nippima, might have gotten herself into a little bit of trouble.  Loved this story!

I also really enjoyed the title story, I am an Executioner.  It was such an interesting take on a love story, and not what I was expecting! 

Elephants in Captivity (Part One) was really painful for me to read.  It’s super short but has ridiculously long footnotes that made it really confusing and unappealing.  I didn’t even want to be not-confused with that story.  If you pick up this book, I’d say that chapter is a skip!

All in all, the book was half enjoyable.  I really did like some of the stories, especially the ones I could understand!  However, some were confusing and made me feel like I wasn’t smart enough to “get” the message.

Barnes and Nobles Discover New Writers loved it, and the author has won awards for some of his short stories.  I’m mixed on this.  If you’re in for a challenge, and to enjoy some of the stories and maybe not others, go ahead and pick it up.

Have you read any AMAZING short stories?

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8 thoughts on “I am an Executioner: Love Stories by Rajesh Parameswaran – Book 28

  1. I was also captivated and tempted by this one. I enjoyed the first story a lot, but I find it is a collection that I absolutely cannot read straight through. There’s too much similarity in some of the writerly tactics. Right now it’s unfinished, but I’m sure I’ll work my way through the rest sometime soon.

    Fave story collections:
    The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy
    No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
    Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff
    Little Black Book of Stories by A.S. Byatt

    And I’m currently reading an Aimee Bender collection… Willful Creatures.

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    • You are so right! You cannot read it straight through. I tried, and when I realized I was failing, I decided to read one short story and then go on to my novel, and back and forth. Like reading my novel was a reward! 🙂

      I will have to check out some of those short story collections! I think short stories can be fun, when I understand them!

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  2. I have such mixed feelings about short stories. They have to be superb to hold my attention. Maybe it’s not that I don’t like short stories but that I love long stories so much more?

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    • That’s a good way to think about it. I usually stay away from short stories but I want to be as well-rounded as possible, so I work them in occasionally. I think I also like being able to accomplish something like finishing a book, and it’s soooo much harder to do that with short stories.

      I think I prefer short novels to short stories. But I try! 🙂

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