Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On "The Object of Desire" by Gary Pedler (10676 words) ****

Here's a story without a lot of pretensions, well executed, and complex. It has what, unfortunately, is missing from so many stories on the Web, mostly because of the medium's incessant demand that authors be concise. However, with such brevity, it's impossible to flesh out stories as nuanced as this one. Take Alan, a homosexual adolescent who is wrestling with his feelings--and who is also, in so many ways, a typical adolescent in his smart-aleck remarks to others, for example. Or his parents, who just want to help but don't exactly know how--and then fear that what help they've forced Alan into taking isn't quick enough or effective. Or Dr. Kirst, who assesses Alan's problems for us at the end of the story--or does he? Are these Alan's problems or the projections of others onto Alan or a combination of both? This is a story that looks at some tough personal issues and doesn't flinch, doesn't simplify, doesn't politicize, and doesn't preach. This is a story that just shows the way things are, that offers, to what extent it can, a little understanding. Read the story here at Prick of the Spindle.

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