Until recently, I have missed the allure of short stories, but after reading Nick Cole’s Lee Marvin and the Long Night, my reluctance to read the short-form has been annulled. This gem of a story made me want to light up a smoke, grab my tommy gun and go out for a night on the town. Right from the start the gumshoe feel really took hold and pushed me through the story. (I kept wanting to say..sshheeeee after every line.)
Lee Marvin knows the truth about the Long Night, but he doesn’t understand it. One night, at the behest of a snub nosed revolver, Mr. Norton Morris asks Lee for his help in escaping their shared prison. The key to their freedom rests in the hands of a mysterious dame, known only as, Dupree’s girl. The truth of the matter is, however, neither men know what will happen when they find her.
I immediately felt connected to the Lee (but not the actor) and enjoyed his commentary. Mr. Cole captured the essence and feel of the 20’s style noir crime drama and gave it a fulfilling twist. The story is short, but nothing was left out. Excellent dialogue and description, paired with a unique plot made this a very enjoyable read.
If you haven’t read anything by Nick Cole, give The Long Night a try.
This is the first piece I’ve read from Laura Metzger and I have to say, I was impressed. The Old Man and the Guitar is a heartfelt, short read!
It’s commonly known that some of life’s most touching moments come when you least expect them. That statement is true for most things, and with the Old Man and the Guitar, Laura was able to capture that moment perfectly with this story. A glimpse into the life of a simple waitress, on any regular night at work, a night any one of us can relate.
It’s what Mary learns this night, about the local Mariachi player, Cristobal, that will touch not only her heart, but I’d be willing to bet, your own as well.
A vivid example of how first impressions can be very wrong; sometimes people do things that we don’t understand, and that’s okay, they don’t need us to understand. It may be silly to us, but it may mean the world to them.
The events of this story happen within a matter of minutes and like all things in life, some of the things that have the greatest impact on our lives happen within the blink of an eye. I have to say, if Laura can pack this much emotion into a short story, I’m excited to see what she can do in longer works. Great read!
Not since I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, has a story pulled me in and made me feel for the characters without ever telling me their names. Knowing a character’s name is a large part of ‘knowing’ who they are, without one they’re likely to mean nothing to us. However, there are exceptions to this rule: example A, the aforementioned classic, The Road, and B, Unconditional by Chris Pourteau.
Unconditional takes place during some kind of zombie apocalypse. However, that fact is almost secondary to the story. Every zombie story I have ever read has been about what happens to humans and society after the undead have taken over, never giving any thought to how such an event would effect man’s best friend.
Without giving us a clue as to where we are, what happened, or why, Pourteau has crafted a story full of joy, sadness and terror, all from the perspective of a nameless dog. This tail (that’s right, I did) is unique in that there is no dialogue and the human characters are not in the forefront of the story. This is the first story I’ve ever read, told from the perspective of a dog and at first I thought this would throw me, but Chris pulled it off very well. The simple, loving nature of the dog is conveyed expertly and effortlessly.
I definitely recommend Unconditional! Not a fan of zombie stories, you say? I say, read it anyway, you won’t be disappointed.
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