Friday, December 14, 2012

The Drunken Penguin Reviews!! **GASP!**

Hey boys and girls! I know I said I'd be trying to post my thoughts on the book Fifty/Fifty and Other Stories, by author Matthew McFarland, but I cannot tell a lie, I've been busy as a bee on the first day of Spring, so I only made it through a couple of the short stories. But I can tell you what I've found so far...

The first short story, The Burning Bar, is a very quick read, and tells the story of Joe, the owner of a nightclub, and his journey into the building blazing with fire. His only mission? To rescue a girl who we know very little about, but who Joe couldn't let die. I'd love to know more about this girl-who she was, where she came from, how long she'd been working for Joe, what kind of relationship they'd had-but alas, we only know that another man wouldn't have put himself in such danger to rescue her. It would be hard to really rate this story, simply because it was so incredibly short and left a lot to the imagination, but it was intriguing. Kind of a teaser, something to get you hooked. I get it. You're teasing us, aren't you? You sneaky author you...

The second story, Defenestration, is also a quick read, but much longer than the first. This one lets the reader get inside the mind of a man plummeting to his imminent death. It's a rare treat that we are given a peek inside the final seconds of a person's life, especially one who sees it coming and can do nothing to stop it. My own mind is already scattered and littered with randomness, I can only assume these are the kinds of things that would flutter through my head if I were crashing to the earth and my inescapable demise. Oh, and the descriptions of everything from the city skyline to the very vivid dream were very, well, detailed! The author took the time to describe minute details that, at first glimpse, may not seem so important. But they stick with you. They set the scene and the atmosphere. Oh, they're important. And I have a special weakness and fondness for those writers who go to great lengths to describe something to thoroughly and accurately that the reader can literally feel, hear, see, smell, and taste it. 

(This could also be what makes me a Stephen King fan. I've read books by that man where he takes 5 pages to describe a road. Mock it all you want, THAT takes time, patience, and the ability to get inside the mind of your audience to see what it takes to make them really grasp the imagery! But that's another discussion...)

The third story in Matthew's book, Lansdowne Road, is a very vivid description of a rugby match in Ireland. Now, I have to say, I've never once seen a rugby game. I know nothing of the sport. In fact, I know very little about other sports. But I know excitement, and this boy's first rugby game was excitement bottled up and tossed about on a "pitch." And for those who don't know what a pitch is, compare it to the American football field. Once again, the description was very vivid. Despite knowing nothing of the sport, I still understood the story. To make ME understand things is quite the accomplishment indeed...

There are a lot of terms, phrases, and even some descriptions that I'm not familiar with, but then again, Matthew is from Ireland and I'm from America, and I'm willing to bet I could manage to confuse him with our Americanized broken English. (Let's face it, folks, we don't speak English. It's just some watered down lazy interpretation of the English language...) So cultural differences aside, I'd say there are a lot of very positive things about these short stories, starting with the ability to read one in a very short amount of time, like on your breaks at work, sitting at the bus stop, or math class, because admit it, you either have no clue or no interest in what's going on in math class. Or you're so darn smart you already know it all anyway, so what's the point? (Joke, by the way! School is cool!) 

I'll try to get more read by Sunday. Tomorrow will be hard, I have a very important familial gathering to attend, and then an evening in with my bestie. But stay tuned, I'll have something for you tomorrow one way or another! Till then, liebe und wahnsinn für alle!

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