Douglas Smith's Impossibilia

Douglas Smith's first short story collection Impossibilia is a treasure to be savoured, like gourmet chocolates and fine wine. It includes three superb stories:

each beautifully written and wondrously imagined.

It took me several days to get through this book. Not because it is in any way difficult to read -- but far from it and quite the opposite: The stories in this collection are so wonderful, I wanted to take time to digest and enjoy each and every one.

While all three stories showcase admirably Doug's impressive mastery of the short story form, Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh stands out as the jewel in the crown. If you, like me, like to save the best till last, Bouquet is that red Smartie, the fine dessert wine, that last delectable bite of cheesecake with one perfect raspberry balanced on top. Not knowing any better, I started reading the book at the beginning -- and had to put it down after Bouquet, pour myself a tiny glass from my last coveted bottle of Maple Leaf Distillers' "Creme de la Creme Chocolate Raspberry Cream Liquor" and sit out under the stars to savour the experience. (Which I imagine I would have done if I'd read the stories in reverse order too, but if you're hoping to finish this collection in one day, be forewarned: Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, by Van Gogh is a tough act to follow.)

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