From the reviews I've read of Australian David Malouf's books, folks either love him or dismiss him out of hand. I'm one of the former. In fact, I consider him to be one of the finest writers of our time, perhaps my favorite.
Having read four of his novels, I was delighted when my brother (to whom I had introduced Malouf several years ago) sent me this volume of all the short stories Malouf had published to the date of this publication - 2007. It is, admittedly, not an easy read. Malouf's sentence structure can be complicated, his characters multi-dimensional and sometimes quite unappealing, his short stories vignettes that can leave you perplexed and discombobulated filled with what one reviewer described as angst. But the writing - lyrical, magical. Suddenly a phrase appears and I ask myself not only how he thinks that he could describe a place or a behavior with such exquisite clarity, but also how he looks at the world to see what I know I would not see.
But I don't intend to review this book here....for that, I recommend http://www.waterbridgereview.org/102007/rvw_complete.php where Abby Pollak has a thorough, well-written review.
However, if you read to learn, not merely to be entertained, if you enjoy exploring another place or culture, if you are comfortable with the discomfort of having your thinking challenged, your perceptions altered, if you can appreciate the craftsmanship of a piece whether or not you like the content, if you are intrigued with intricacies and paradoxes of the human condition, try Malouf. And if you are already familiar with and appreciate him, The Complete Stories will not disappoint you.