Monday, August 11, 2008

Reader's Diary #384- Jim Ruland: Kessler Has No Lucky Pants

Short Story Monday

Did I like Jim Ruland's "Kessler Has No Lucky Pants"?

Written with a Q and A format, I certainly thought it was uniquely told.

But was it style over substance?

No, it had substance coming out the wazoo. Ew. Gross. Maybe that conjures up an image no one needs right now.

Can I try that again?

It has oodles of substance. The question of fate versus controlling ones destiny definitely seems to be a major theme. The message that even our smallest, seemingly insignificant, choices (like which pants we wear on any particular day) can determine our fate would almost appear to be the story's thesis. But then again, Kessler seems to remind us, luck can't be counted out altogether.

So is Kessler suggesting that free will/determinism should be viewed not as or but as and?

Yes. At least I think so. But I'm not sure whether or not the story was strong enough to support such a heavy philosophy.

Why not?

Well. The characters were fine. They weren't overly engaging and I probably transferred too much of the narrator's quirkiness unto Kessler at first. He seemed OCD and a bit of a superstitious nut, certainly not someone who could have the sort of relationship he ended up having: normal. Secondly the plot was a bit too simple: a run of the mill boy-meets-girl story.

So did I like it or not?


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