Saturday, August 6, 2011

Two short stories

I'm a little (okay, I'm actually very behind!) on sharing my thoughts on the last few books that I've read in the past couple of weeks.  I've actually read some really good ones - including two short stories.

The first one is called The Second Ward by Robert DeCoteau.  For a short story, the writer sure has a way of pulling you into the story quick!  The story kind of reminded me of a movie that I watched a long  time ago but I don't remember the whole story - something about a bumble bee - but anyway, the story is basically about a kid in a mental institution that has been there since he was 9 years old.  Everyone claims to want to help him, but he really doesn't understand what is wrong with him.  He keeps having these dreams about driving a car but no one wants to talk about it.  Neither his doctors or is he really allowed to talk about it in the group sessions either.  I feel really bad for this kid - he doesn't know anything about the outside world and wants to escape so badly.  His parents no longer visit and he's basically all alone.  The story takes an awesome turn and really picks up, then bam!  You find out what was really going on to this kid.  I didn't expect it at all and when I can't predict how the story is going to finish, I am pretty surprised.  I didn't even realize that the story was over!  I suppose that this short story can eventually lead to another book, where this other plot left off.  If the writer can tell a tale this good, I can't wait to read more.

The other short story I don't really think was meant to be a short story.  It went by really fast but since the Kindle doesn't have page numbers, I have no idea how to figure out how long the book actually was.  The book is called 8810 by Nicholas Taylor.  Where the last short story was serious and in a way, a bit disturbing, this book was funny.  The whole story takes place in an office - the whole corporate world.  If you've ever worked for a large company in any department, you'll find the same kind of personalities and the same kind of activities going on.  In a way it almost made me miss working a little bit, but only for the entertainment value.  When I had the time, it was kind of fun to see all of the personalities interact with each other.  I guess this book could have been a little boring to someone that couldn't relate, but since I could, I found it just so much fun to read.  :-)  It was really short - I guess that's why it was a 'short' story - but I really liked the way this writer told his story.  Nothing was too serious even though it could have.  The beginning of the story started with the whole Monday morning moodiness routine and the first day on a new job.  The main character could have been written as being a bundle of nerves, jumpy or even a little too anxious.  Instead, the character had an almost cynical (but funny) "Holden Caulfield" (from Catcher in the Rye) attitude to the whole thing.  No, he didn't call everyone phony, but he just kind of went along with everyone until they did something stupid, then he let his true opinions about them come out; but for some strange reason, he still maintained a almost friendship with them afterwards.  The paranoid guy that kept thinking that everyone was against him was made a little more paranoid, the guy that always ate lunch in the park got a lunch partner every once in a while (who got the same nasty looks from the play ground moms)... unlike the Catcher in the Rye guy, this guy (oh, what the heck was his name again!) was a little more light hearted.  I'll be curious to see if this leads to another book because this one was fun to read.  The writer had a good way to keep the mood fun in the book which also made it so neat to read.  :-)

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