These stories are, objectively, insane. A vampire living in a lemon grove, eating the lemons constantly. A boy convinced a scarecrow is the kid he bullied. A man who travels to Antarctica to support shrimp against whales.
It’s nuts. But the sci-fi/fantasy insanity of the stories is, in the end, another way of getting at what all writers are shooting for: human experience. The outrageous of the surroundings, of the background, or of the plot, serves to emphasize the humanity of the characters.
Humans are the protagonists, magic is the setting, and emotions are the plot. It’s quite amazing, all told. And it was an amazing read.