Saturday, September 15, 2007

because there's nothing better to do

my roommate and i sat around and read last night. i was happy that we were doing this, rather than something completely worthless. then i lost my willpower and turned on the tv. i watched a relatively inane movie and stayed up too late. i did, however, get a huge start on a fascinating and disturbing short story collection.

dear mr. president
-gabe hudson

i can't really say why i picked this off the shelf, especially because the design of the spine is pretty ugly. it's got a decent cover, some interesting quotes on the back from people who seem like they deserve some respect, and even a quote on the front. that can be a bit of a cause for pause, but i decided after reading two sentences of the first story that i would like this collection, and i did. it's disturbing, amusing, and has some great characters, most of whom are changed for the worse by war. it was little surprise to read that hudson himself had fought, but he also has an mfa and won some fancy award while getting it. further proof that good writing is about making your world come to life for others. hudson's specific use of familiar brands at critical points in some of the stories adds realism as it reminds that the protagonist's tortured life could exist within the reader's own world. at times, the backstories of the warriors in these tales seem odd, and their romantic interests seem cliched. there's no denying that hudson's a good writer though. i haven't figured out what an author is supposed to do to transcend the flaws of a narrating character. if there is something, hudson doesn't fully have a grip on it yet, but he's as likely as most to figure it out.

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