Early in July, a friend and I were having a discussion about Gore Vidal and his writing. I had never read anything by him but always meant to. My friend has read many of his books and is a great fan. Is it coincidence that a few days later Mr. Vidal died?
Of course, I had to run to the library and get one of his book and I( thought that short stories would be a good place to start.
The Robin is from the Short story collection Clouds and Eclipses. The narrator is an adult recalling what happened when he was a nine year old and I assume him to be a boy. He explained how tough he use to be. He liked “magazines sold in drug stores, with pictures of young women.”
In fourth grade he had a friend, Oliver. The both loved violence and torture and sometimes even stole things from stores. He described what his country school was like. One day in October they were walking in the school yard and spotted a robin on the ground with a broken wing. They knew that the bird wouldn’t survive and thought they should put it out of it’s misery. They discussed how to do it. They decided..
The Robin is both a coming of age story and a story of two boys learning about ethics. I found it deeply moving and am looking forward to reading more of the stories in this book.
John of The Book Mine Set reviewed this story back in April, 2010. I had added it to my TBR and finally read it last night.
The Yellow Eye is written like a type of urban legend. Willow, an 11 year old girl has been on the road all day with her father when they run out of gas. Her father sees lights up ahead and tells Willow that he is going to walk there to try to get help. She is afaid to stay in the car alone but he tells her to go to sleep and that he would be back soon. Soon she spots a wolf that comes to try to get into the car through the windshield and then..
What happens seems to be a product of the girl’s wild imagination, but is it? Brayden Hirsch writes a creepy story that reminds me of stories we use to tell each other, as children at slumber parties. You know the ones, where the flashlight comes out and you know it’s time for scary stories.
I can certainly see this story working for children at a slumber party but for me, there was too much suspension of belief involved to begin with. What responsible parent would leave his terrified 11 year old alone in a car, rather than bring her with him. Also, he left the trunk open and didn’t even tell her to lock the doors. Other than that, Hirsch did a great job bulding up the tension to the climax.
Unfortunatly, the story doesn’t appear to be available on the internet any longer. The author’s wordpress blog is gone.