University of Queensland Press, $19.95 pb, 208 pp, 9780702253607
Just as there are ways of writing short story collections, there are also ways of reading them. I used to be a rummager, picking through collections, seeking out the title piece, dipping in here and there to ascertain the feel of the stories, then reading the book from start to finish. Conscious now of the architecture of collections, of the fact that the author has probably wrestled with the order of the stories, I start at the beginning. Besides, there is no title story in Peripheral Vision, though it is an apt title which captures much of the subtlety of Paddy O’Reilly’s handling of the form.