Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Review: One More Victim/The Saltness of Time
One More Victim/The Saltness of Time by Randy Attwood
My rating: 0 of 5 stars
Disclosure: While I read The Saltness of Time and reviewed it first, I later edited both it and One More Victim for Mr. Attwood as he prepared them for paperback publication. I do not receive any proceeds from sales, and the fact that I edited these books does not affect my opinion of them.
One More Victim Synopsis: The most important summer of my life began with a house-shaking thunder-boomer that woke me up on a Thursday night in 1958 near the end of my fifth-grade school year.
I walked out of my bedroom to the living room and saw Dad, in his brown pajamas, standing at the window looking out and up at the fury in the sky. On a nearby table, the transistor radio was playing softly so he could hear the news of any tornado sightings. He held the flashlight in case the power went off and we had to go to the basement. His hand was tight around the aluminum cylinder, holding it as if it were a club he could use against the weather. Dad had good reason to be cautious
The Saltness of Time synopsis: A Kansas snowstorm forces a car of college students returning home for the holidays to take refuge in the hotel of a small town where they encounter a fellow traveler, who also seeks shelter, and has a story to tell about the consequences of another snow storm decades before when a hideous truth is revealed about an old woman.
"I haven't told many people this story. Perhaps you'd rather not hear it. I know how hard it is for young people to listen about what rocked the hearts and flamed the passions of old people when they were young. It seems so long ago it's hard to believe lives back then were blood and bone real. And what happened to me that night reached back into the last century. I mean, Gabrielle was born in the 1880s. No, wait, might as well get it right. She was eighty-nine when we ran across her and that was in 1963, so she would have been born in...'" he stopped briefly to calculate in his head and Stephie, the little math whiz, spoke up with the answer, "1874."
"Eighteen seventy-four. Amazing that I can pass on, personally, now more than hundred years after her birth, some of the reality of Gabrielle. If you'd care to hear about it," he said and it was more a plea than a question. Something there that needed telling....
My Thoughts: Randy Attwood says The Saltness of Time is his Heart of Darkness, a story he first started working on in his 20s. Like all of his stories, The Saltness of Time provides just enough information to give the idea behind the story structure, and to allow the reader to fill in the rest. Beautifully evocative, this is a story that you'll want to savor and re-read.
One More Victim is an amazing, heartbreaking, beautiful story (says so right on the cover) - but then, those are my words, the words I said right after I finished editing it - I cried while I was editing it, and I'm not the sort to easily become overly sentimental about a story. It is a coming-of-age story, a story of realizations, a story about beginnings and endings - it is a story I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a well-spun tale.
Randy Attwood's short stories are also always a treat. Highly evocative, helping the reader connect in even the strangest ways - you can find my individual reviews on most of these stories. As I've said, Mr. Attwood even makes snooker and golf interesting!
I'm so excited to see these two stories paired into a single book, and I think most readers will find something to love here. Check it out - you'll love them!
View all my reviews