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Monday, April 16, 2012

Reader's Diary #819- Daniel Woodrell: Night Stand


Taking a break from the Hunger Games (it's in our local theater for a 4th week and I'm rushing through the book so I can watch the movie before I miss my chance), I just randomly went looking for an online short story. Well, not completely random. I do what I often do, pick a word (in this case "night") and Google that word + "short story" to see what I come up with. In this case I was led to Daniel Woodrell's "Night Stand" available at Esquire.com. Daniel Woodrell was the author behind Winter's Bone, which was turned into a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, who now plays Katniss in the Hunger Games. Neat, eh?

"Night Stand" begins "Pelham came away one night to find a naked man standing over his bed, growling." It's really the perfect opener for this story. Not only is the image mysterious, made even more threatening by the growl, but the word choice is indicative of the story to follow. It took me a little while to decide that "came away" probably was intentional, not a typo for "came awake." But in the story to follow, there are a lots of these just slightly off phrasings-- ones in which I can get the gist, but with word choices that are somewhat unfamiliar to me. But considering the slightly off circumstances of the story, plus the setting, they work. Plus, I adjusted quickly and by the 3rd and final page, I was so completely taken into the story, that I didn't notice any strange stylings.

"Night Stand" is an intriguing story about coming to terms with one's past, connecting with others, and coping with tragedy. It's a great psychological thriller.

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

1 comment:

Julie @ Read Handed said...

Sounds like a great story. Today, I read Kate Chopin's "After the Winter".