2008 Books #14: Thirteen Phantasms, by James P. Blaylock
This is a wonderful collection of stories. Blaylock writes some of the loveliest prose I've ever seen, with a dreamy, magical style that I envy like crazy. I like his quirky characters and the glimpses of strangeness in all of his stories, especially the ones like "The Old Curiosity Shop," which was my favorite of Blaylock's solo stories in the book (two of the stories are collaborations with Tim Powers); the idea of finding a similar shop, just to see it, might haunt me forever. I will certainly never look at hidden places in quite the same way, since I'll be expecting to find wonders around every corner.
I mean, seriously--who wouldn't want to see a whale's eyeball in a jar, just once?