“The Shell Collector” is a collection of eight short stories written by Anthony Doerr and was published in 2002. There is quite a bit of variety of characters of settings throughout, but there seems to be a theme of people traveling and coming together outside of their usual surroundings. The various stories take place throughout the world.
I am not going to review each and every story, but I would say the ones that engaged me the most started off with the first story “The Shell Collector” in which the title character has his island beleaguered with desperate people who come to believe he has amazing abilities of healing. I also liked “The Hunter’s Wife” where a reunion is about to take place between a couple who have not seen each other in twenty years. It dips in and out of the past where the reader learns about their meeting and eventual separation. “The Caretaker” and the final story, “Mkondo” are also two of the strongest entries in this anthology.
“The Caretaker” is a about a refugee from Liberia which seems to also echo the controversies in today’s reality.
This really isn’t my usual choice for reading entertainment, but I was glad to have tried it out. Doerr does have the somewhat exasperating practice of not using many quotation marks when depicting dialogue, but he is an interesting writer overall. Some stories grabbed me more than others, as what usually happens with anthologies. I would still recommend for my fellow readers to give this one a try. I may also peruse some of Doerr’s other works since my curiosity is sparked.
I think I will next check in on the exploits of Jane Hawk with “The Whispering Room” by Dean Koontz.