Monday, September 27, 2010

Reader's Diary #651- Eva Moran: He Wishes This Were Something Else

(Photo by John Paul Kragg)

In Steven W. Beattie's review of Eva Moran's Porny Stories, a collection of short stories, he credits Moran for taking the uptightness out of Canadian sex writing. Her depictions, he says, are filthy, carnal, and sweaty.

Well, good on her, I guess, but my one issue with "He Wishes This Were Something Else" is with a sex scene. It's not bad enough to qualify for a Bad Sex in Fiction award, but it's still disappointing. "He Wishes This Were Something Else" is about a young couple, so a sex scene or two wouldn't be out of place, however, when Moran eventually gets there it's just wham, bam, no thank-you ma'am. You'll recognize the paragraph when you get there, it's the one where Moran rushes through the particular sex acts she's known for writing about as if there's a checklist taped somewhere on her laptop for quick reference. There, I'm still the hip sex writer, on with the story.

Outside of the that, "He Wishes This Were Something Else" was a great story. The story follows Carson who has begun dating a woman named Nikki, and it's Nikki that keeps the story interesting. I didn't like Nikki. Sure she had a troubled past, but it was nothing out of the realm of crap that many of us lived through. And certainly her way of dealing with it is also believable and not entirely uncommon. Carson looks at her as dating material, and so we're forced as readers to look at her through that lens as well. He seems to think she is more interesting than she is.

Towards the end, a vague although fantastically surreal ending, Carson seems to gain some sort of deeper understanding of Nikki. What he'll do with that understanding remains to be seen. However, I can't help but notice that Nikki doesn't seem to be searching for any insight into Carson. My advice to Carson would be to run.

Any story that makes me feel this strongly about the characters can't be all bad.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)


Teddy Rose said...

You certainly have me curious. I will have to read it.

Here's mine: The Snow Storm by Pushkin

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I can't say I cared for this story, which left me feeling curiously hollow. But perhaps that was the intent.