Saturday, March 23, 2013

On "The Kind of People That Drive These Roads" by Keith Rosson (6054 words) ***

There's a lot to like about this story by Keith Rosson--he's taken down the rules for good storytelling and made a chunk of writing fit right within it. The piece starts with a bit of violence--or rather the aftermath of it. I'm reminded a bit of an early scene in the Coen Brothers adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. There, two police officers wander a field of dead men after a drug shootout. Here, officers discuss the troubles that exist out in these country places, a dead boy lying under a bit of barbed wire. One of the officers has shot him, and that officer now will have to deal with the guilt for the following year--and with some kind of ghostly retribution. The surprise here, however, is how the other officer deals with the shooting (and in fact it is this character who proved the most intriguing to me)--and in that dealing is the sorrow of the piece, a growing understanding on the part of the main character that justice isn't about that at all but naked retribution. The piece makes for a good story, but there's enough here that were Rosson to slow things down, he might well get a novel out of the material. Read the piece here at Burnt Bridge.

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