Monday, April 12, 2010

On "Keep Calm and Carillon" by Genevieve Valentine (2862 words) ***

What if, one day, your sister disappeared for a few hours and when she emerged she was a . . . a . . . choir bell ringer, and weirdly obsessive about it? That's the basic premise of this story, which wins marks for me for simply being strange. Sometimes strange is good. I think of a couple of my favorite John Steinbeck stories, which are unlike most other things he wrote, one about a holy pig and the other about a psychopathic hairpiece (or was it a psychopathic piece of gum?). Both stories take a preposterous situation and run us through an entire plot. The situation itself is enough to get us interested, and the plot propels us forward. Valentine does a similarly admirable job here. I won't say much more about it lest I spoil it. Read it here at Farrago's Wainscot.

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