REVIEWS: NRR Quickies Catchup

Read a bunch; forgot to post on ’em.

Blind Fish/Melanie Rae Thon: Sort of free form, not a real story but rather an essay, a parable that is full of symbolism and yet it cannot really be read as story without the need to look further for meaning.

The Voices in My Head/Jack Handey:  Excellent concept of comparing what’s typically referred to as the "voices" to our everyday thoughts.  Which are the crazy ones? Where is the line crossed? What is the ending resolution to the narrator’s problem in this statement: "But I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet, because one thing I have learned is this: the voices may be bossy, but they’re really stupid."

The Old Truth in Costa Rica
/Lon Otto:  Despite the opening, "I will tell you a true story." which makes the reader lean in closer, I’ve read too many with this same suggestion so it didn’t impress me.  It also doesn’t negate the fable quality of the story.  It’s interesting, it presents the sloths with a situation and a conflict between their own traditional nature and the danger it engenders. 

Why You Shouldn’t Have Gone in the First Place/Samantha Schoech: Same thing millions of women have written about before in their diaries and in their heads.

Mythologies/R.L.Futrell: Starts with scenario that comes to mean more as the information is given that this relationship between a man and a woman has been severed and times have changed.  Clever use of the driving trip as they see houses and neighborhoods destroyed by bulldozers of change.

Reviving Pater/John Goulet: Loved the story for its quirkiness.  Was it well written?  There is a definite arc that builds up even as they build the character  of Pater.  The  twist at the end is hinted at and yet still comes as a surprise because it happens quickly.  There is irony in the ending statement, since after all the violence the narrator claims, "Of course, this discussion period was also part of our tradition; it was by considering such issues in a sensible way that we grew closer as a family."

Bullhead/Leigh Allison Wilson: A simple story of love and loss, nothing really exciting about it.

Accident/Dave Eggers: Unusual in its 2nd person pov.   Tension starts immediately with a car accident and builds quickly, but is dissipated just as quickly as the characters are accepting of the situation.  The real conflict beneath the interaction is the loneliness and reaching out for communication by any means.

All Girl Band/Utahna Faith: Starts out great with "My all girl band is in trouble."  Even as the narrator admits she doesn’t know why she feels terror at what she has done and is about to turn herself in for.  We never know either.

I Never Looked/Donald Hall: Sort of a sad little story of an illicit affair; reminded me of Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants in that the man and woman appear to be on separate wave lengths.  The ending is sort of depressing in that it shows each returning to their separate worlds.

Fab 4/Jenny Hall: Nice little flashback to a better time; maybe a statement on how TV was supposed to ruin mankind and yet mankind did that without its assistance and still survived. The "Fab 4" reference is, of course, to the Beatles.

The Peterson Fire/Barry Gifford: Nice detail, but the story doesn’t really seem to ever develop.

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