Photo: Mackenzie Stolp

Sexy Tales of Paleontology: The Perfect Lockdown Read

Written by Mackenzie Stolp

If you are struggling in lockdown and finding it hard to read through an entire book, then a collection of short stories might be perfect for you. Often undervalued, short stories tend to be easy to read, quickly engaging and most importantly – short! There is a variety of short story collections that I could recommend to you, but there has been one that I can’t stop thinking about.

Sexy Tales of Paleontology is a collection of short stories by journalist and writer Patrick Lenton. I have admired Patrick Lenton and his writing for a while now and so I was eager to get my hands on one of his books! He has released two others, A Man Made Entirely of Bats in 2014, and Uncle Hercules and Other Lies:16 Essays About Almost Nothing released in 2019. It was just my luck that he released Sexy Tales of Paleontology when I needed a lockdown pick-me-up.

Patrick Lenton has a genuinely masterful way of creating stories. One of my favourites from this collection is about Jim Kardashian – a fictional person that came as an idea to Lenton when he accidentally misspelled Kim Kardashian as Jim Kardashian in an article that went live on Junkee. It his genius in turning small mistakes such as this into a tale of fame, family and the definition of success that makes Patrick Lenton so great.

Short story collections make for easy, entertaining reads as each tale is a maximum of twenty pages – so even if you don’t like the particular story, you are reading you do not have to suffer for long! From pirates to multiple rats making up one person, Sexy Tales of Paleontology is an incredible showcase of Patrick Lenton’s humour and cleverness. I can’t imagine a more suitable time to read a collection of funny short stories that are (almost) entirely removed from our reality.

You can purchase this book and other great collections of stories, essays and poems through Subbed In, an independent literary organisation and small publisher. You can find the books they sell (including all Patrick Lenton’s) here.

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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