Right off the bat I am going to say that I have never been able to get into short stories. So the fact that I rated this 4 stars might just be a miracle. A Booktuber (The Poptimist) I really enjoy likes this collection and told me it could be a good starting off point for me to jump into short stories, and he was right.
I have no idea how to do a summary for a short story collection. I’m just going to say that there are a lot of different genres in this book, the stories range from science fiction, fantasy, to historical fiction and a sort of weird combination that seems to work. I personally would probably classify this book as science fiction.
To start off the book, I found the story to be a little to literal for my liking. I didn’t hate it but I was a little worried about liking this author. But I pushed through and they just seemed to get better the further I got. My favourite story was most definitely the one the book was named after, The Paper Menageries. I won’t ruin it for you guys, since it is a short story I think giving you any plot would be a bit of a spoiler. I’ll just say that I thought it was just going to be cute little story, and it had a lot more substance than I was expecting. For people who don’t read collections and just the odd short story, I would recommend this story to everyone.
It is so odd for me to try and review a collection of short stories, every story is so different, and I have different feelings about them all. I really liked almost all of the stories. But I did find near the end of the book for the last three stories or so, I was getting tired of reading short fiction. Thinking about it now, I probably should have put it down and come back rather than pushed through. There is one story that is about 100 pages long and I just couldn’t get into it and I think that’s the reason I had sort of lost interest. But I know now to put the stories down and come back if I’m getting bored. It’s not like you can forget what was happening like in a novel.
I have never had good luck with science fiction really, and haven’t been a fan of short stories in the past. But I think science fiction might be best in short story format, for me anyways. I think people should at least give this book a try, and to read past the first story because it gets better.
Let me know if you guys have any short story collections you would recommend, or if you just can’t seem to get into them like me.