I loved the reflective style of this writing. It kind of foreshadowed the fact that something untoward was going to happen. But it didn’t give anything away. Just left you with an intensely curious and vaguely uncomfortable feeling as the story unfolded.
Many mythologies have a creature of destruction woven into their stories somewhere… but I’ve never read a short story in which one such creature felt regret. Of any kind. Which made this incredibly enjoyable. I love when a story takes a slightly different spin. Instead of being the antagonist, the brother of destruction was simply doing what he’d been born to do. Until he found a conscience…
We’ve just been through the process of trying to sell a house. So reading a short story about the difficulties of real estate felt a lot more real and hilarious than it probably would have previously. Especially the trying to sell your house in a way that matches your perspective buyers’ desires… the fact that there is a paranormal element added to this mix just made it all the more entertaining.
As someone who is halfway through her PhD and just entering the world of academics… I can completely understand Richardsons’ incredible need to just… crack. Right down the centre. With absolutely no finesse. Alright, I don’t actually want to crack, and I definitely wouldn’t do what he did… but we’ve all had our moments of instability, and I found Beagle’s take on this in this short story incredibly entertaining and intriguing.
The use of the Berlin Wall coming down in this story took me somewhat by surprise. Probably mostly because I didn’t actually know in what year it came down and so couldn’t make an educated guess on what life-altering moment was about to occur… I need to brush up on my history badly.
I always like to say that I’m not that materialistic. But then you walk into my house and see the walls of books, and it becomes obvious that in some ways, I am incredibly materialistic. Which meant that this story was not only a really fun read, but also a somewhat uncomfortable one. It spoke to trends in society and what we perceive as needs and how they could be our eventual downfall. As I said, very uncomfortable.
The wit and dry humour in this story had me chuckling a fair bit. There was something about a strange, lanky scholar who was desperate to be killed roaming the streets and just having absolutely no luck. It got even better when you found out that he was a duke and abhorrent to the rest of his family. The beauty, humour and irony in the story had me cackling more than I should probably admit if I still wanted people to consider me sane (which I don’t, so it’s fine).
It took me a little while to understand what was happening in this story. Mostly because it’s a short story in a collection of urban fantasy tales, and it didn’t quite seem like a fantasy until about three quarters of the way through. And then I started to really pick up on the nuances and quiet storylines that I’m beginning to recognise in Richard Bowes’ short stories. It was at this point that I decided I really wanted to go back to the beginning and read it again with more awareness.
Most of the fae stories I read form some mentioning of the immigration of the Fair Folk to America in some way, shape or form. There’s always a mention of the industrial revolution and a discussion of how hard it was, even for these supernatural immigrants. But I’ve never read a story that actually takes place in this time. That talks about those first moments off the boat in a whole new world that is just as convoluted and confusing to the fae as it was to the humans. Until now. And I find that I kind of love it…
Baseball isn’t really my thing. Nor is it something that I’ve ever understood. Probably has something to do with being Australian and not really having many baseball players in the vicinity. But I still know that the Cubs are quite famous for not winning and having a loyal fan base. It seems to come up a lot in American TV, movies and books…