Title: Alvin and the Apple Tree
Author: Orson Scott Card
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Weird western
Dates read: 29th September 2020
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
5th sentence, 74th page: They got back to town well before dark.
Alvin is a travelling man, and he believes in God. But when he runs into John Appleseed and the village he tried to help… well, things get a little topsy turvy.
Like some of the westerns that I’ve read lately – this one plays with ideas of Christianity and what it truly means to be a “good” Christian. Although, I loved how this story took that topic better than some of the other topics. It also pulled in ideas of Adam and Eve, the apple, the Tree of Life, connection to nature… it was a great amalgamation of topics that completely hooked me from pretty much the very beginning.
I’m not entirely sure how this fits into the western genre – which is why I didn’t put it on the westerns shelf, just under weird westerns. It didn’t quite feel western to me, I’m not sure why. Although there was a nice hint of the cowboy and Indian theme which tends to weasel its way into this genre… so maybe I just jumped to conclusions too quickly since the setting felt a lot more modern than many of the other short stories in this collection thus far…
I’m really glad that I enjoyed this short story so much. I just bought a trilogy written by Orson Scott Card, and it would have been damn awkward if I didn’t actually like the first thing I’d read by him. In fact, after finishing this great short story, I can’t wait to pick up the series that I’ve bought. This tale just had such a great sitting around the campfire, having a yarn kind of feeling to it that I thoroughly enjoyed.