Though this is clearly more than just an arbitrary collection of short stories, I don't see it as a novel. It's like Weinsburg, OH, you know? "Was" ; "The Fire and the Hearth" : this is one of the best in here; "Pantaloon in Black" ; "The Old People"  and one would think essential to understanding of the next story: "The Bear" : this is supposedly the most famous and acclaimed story of the collection but I was let down by it. Parts 1-3 are fantastic. By themselves they are hands down the best story in the collection. But then chapter 4 feels like it's from an altogether different work and it completely destroys the flow of the story (intentionally?). "Delta Autumn" : this feels like the real, proper ending of "The Bear" if it does indeed have to be as long as it is, instead of the 3 chapters it should have been, grrr. "Go Down, Moses" : with the second story, the candidate for best in the collection.