Review: Whirl Away

Whirl Away
Russell Wangersky
Thomas Allen Publishers

This collection of short stories explores what happens when people feel their lives slipping out of control, such as the elevator inspector with the crumbling marriage or the woman having an affair with her married boss. The characters are often deeply flawed and it’s safe to say there are no happy endings here. I don’t typically read short stories because I find I don’t have enough time to really care about the characters and the endings sometimes feel abrupt and leave me wondering what the point of the story was. As an English major I would have to spend hours writing essays to answer such questions but now that I’ve been out of school for a while I guess I am too lazy. Thankfully, Wangersky’s stories are well-written and just long enough that by the end you feel something for the characters, whether it be sympathy or that they got what they deserved. Whirl Away was short listed for the 2012 Giller Prize.


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