My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It is a rainbow of emotions.
It is a collection of moments of everyday life.
It is a short story.
The art of writing a short story is not easy to be mustered-it should evolve with everyday moments of life-simple, defining and priceless moments of life –moments so simple of everyday life that they may seem worth forgetting. Short stories are like a downpour to a dry soil-whose impression to the soil of the human soul is long lasting. The theme comes from ordinary life-the protagonists are ordinary people-the dialogues are from our simple daily life-yet the collaborative assembly is so extraordinary-it is like a beautiful orchestra conducted …………
Elvis’s Dog…Moonbeam-And Other Stories by Robert Moulthrop-an award winning anthology of twelve short stories-stories that are full of aroma of life. Here the protagonists are no extraordinary people-they are from our much known next door neighbors-they talk in languages that we have heard thousands of times-the turns of events are always as spontaneous as the flow of a wild stream-natural, uninterrupted. There are twelve stories in the collection-Uncle Louis,A sense of Place, Zip Code, Mom as I remember, Hinges, From stories from the quiet, Elvis’s dog-the one named Moonbeam, Death, Miss Honey touch takes a dip, Peru-with a tinge of ice, The dire case of the skulking E mail and the Wendy Paper. We will fix our attention to the first and the last story of the collection.
Uncle Louis –is the story of transformation of a man whom the world long been faded up considering’ the jack of no trade.’ In the words of the narrator-‘the old Uncle Louis was boring and scary. Everybody called him ‘Looey.’ ‘A crab salad without the salad.’ my father said about nine times a year. He would follow it with, ‘A San Francisco joke, like your brother in law.’
The uncle was a very run of the mill-very common-very boring and sometimes very irritating to the outside world for. His profession is just like the person himself-showing movies at garden clubs for an oil company. The real story has begun after the death of the wife of the uncle-the aunt of the narrator. His apparently reluctant expression at the time of death-or in other words his emotionless emotions-his silence –surprised many-shocked many and angered many. But it was like shock after shock for the poor man-too much death after the demise of his parents in a car accident-‘looking back, I think Uncle Louis had just gone into himself because, after his own mother and father had died, there was just too much death. But at the time, when all the grown-ups are in the room, all I heard were the silence.’ Nobody takes his apathy easily-not everybody is a philosopher to think death from a Hindu perspective of philosophy-like the mother of the narrator. But as they said time is the best healer-the ripple begun to settle down. Life is on the main track once again.
To the world outside, uncle continued to be a puzzle. His behavior-his expressions-everything continued to be considered weird by his acquaintances. But changes are yet to come-like a splash of rain to uncle Lewis- but to the world –even to his near and dear ones-the act of a lunatic. He suddenly decided to quit his job-and take to a new job. And from then the story does not get confine itself to the narrow boundary of the whims of a so called eccentric man. Ultimately it turned out to be the dream of a man-a man who has lost battles throughout his life- gets the fuel to live the rest of his life happily from his dream. And it is his emotion-that drives the individuals surrounding him who had earlier considered him crazy-considered him lunatic –to a deeper understanding of his psychological change.
Smeared with light hint of wit-the story offer a glimpses of a man who have learnt to live within himself-who have ultimately realized that the life can be lived to its fullest when the life is sailed in his own way. A personal narrative that turns out to be a memorable read!
At first I thought to discuss about the last story of the collection –the Wendy Paper –but it is such a classical story that I leave it to the reader to enjoy the story. However as a consolation to the reader –it is a story of a couple devising all types of possible, impossible, probable, improbable ways of trying to get rid of their funny neighbors-because ‘ everything is possible.’
Instead let us fix our gaze to the short story ‘Zip Code.’ The protagonist is a mail delivery assistant at a small postal facility-where one day he encounters a beautiful lady. He was eager to help the lady-but she was reluctant-and even rude in refusing his help. At this time the protagonist discovered the inner mettle of one of his colleagues whom he had always considered rather a low profile character. It is a story about how easily we misjudge individuals –how easily outward appearances elude us.
True –the plots of the stories are rather simple-but simple plots are so neatly fabricated-and the intricate patterns of the characters are so vividly described-the canvas becomes colorful-rendering a contrast with an unity.
Just like the life is!
The review was done courtesy to the copy provided by the writer in association with Word Slinger Publicity,