Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Pain is Worse Than Your Pain

by TC Boyle

While I've always enjoyed his novels, Boyle is a master of short fiction. He conjures up, with great sparsity, complete and believable narratives.

In this story, some guy living in a mountain side community of 'cabin'-dwellers, falls for the recently widowed neighbour - quite literally as he plunges off her roof into some rocks on an ill-advised nighttime peeping tom mission. He loses his wife in the outcome, as well as the respect and company of his community.

Boyle touches on themes of isolation and pain, as the narrator keeps repeating the same mistakes, and injuring himself in a way that mirrors the demise of the husband of the object of his affections. This is some good stuff.

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