Sunday, May 9, 2010

On "The Last Great Clown Hunt" by Chris Furst (3964 words) ***

Furst works this story by juxtaposing two ideas--the slaughter of the last Indians on the Great Plains with the often large dislike of clowns. Why people dislike clowns, I've never been sure. As a child, I did not find them scary, as some do; rather, I enjoyed clowns, as many children do. As an adult, I do not take great pleasure in clowns, but I don't wish them any ill will. And like many things that have no substantial appeal to me in and of themselves, I am attracted to things involving clowns for the kitsch value. A few years ago, a cartoonist here in town sketched an image of very scary clowns swooping out of the sky and beating up little kids--I thought it quite a funny commentary on some people's irrational dislike of clowns. I don't find the slaughter of the Native peoples all that funny, however, so this story is at a bit of a disadvantage; as clowns are hunted down, I couldn't help but think about the inhumane treatment of fellow humans. But in the end, I chose to feature this story because it's a great example of what can be done when combining two ideas, and the ending manages to pull off the humor (enough to make me chuckle) that one would expect from a very good clown. Read the story here at Weird Tales, a journal that's a little out of the ordinary from my usual less-fantastic tastes but which does fantasy very well as far as I can tell.


Chris said...

Thanks for the nice review. One little quibble: my last name is really Furst, not Faust.

Short Story Reader said...

Sorry about that. Thanks for the correction.