Monday, February 11, 2008

Reader's Diary #328- Leon Rooke: Yellow House

Short Story Monday

Cross posted at The Short Story Reading Challenge.

There's a lot about Leon Rooke's "Yellow House" that I'd call relentless. The tone is relentless, the pace is relentless, the mystery is relentless, the symbolism is relentless and the contrasts are relentless.

For all of that, I held on as if I had no choice. If you're seasick in the middle of the Atlantic, you either get over it or prepare for a long, vomit-filled journey back to the nearest pharmacy and precious Gravol.

For all of that-- and this is where the seasick analogy falls overboard-- I enjoyed it. Immensely. Even the bizarre, fishy ending that I still can't quite figure out (along with what the heck affliction they were suffering from and just who were those Geeks anyway?) And if I have a question within parentheses within a statement, does a period follow the closing bracket?

I often use short stories to gauge whether or not I should read a longer piece by a particular author. I'll definitely be reading more by Rooke.

The Soundtrack:
1. Soon One Mornin' (Death Come A-Creepin' In My Room)- Mississippi Fred McDowell
2. Shiny Happy People- R.E.M.
3. Woe- Tom Waits
4. Peaches- Presidents of the United States of America
5. Hope You're Feeling Better- Santana

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Zachariah Wells said...

I haven't read any of Rooke's novels, but those who have tell me that his brilliant short stories are better than his long fiction. I highly recommend the recent selection of his best stories, _Hitting the Charts_, published by Biblioasis.

John Mutford said...

Zachariah: Thanks for the recommendation.