Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Barnabas

I had some trouble thinking up who or what would be my literary criticism for "B".  Then I remembered.  Didn't Jeff Hargett of Strands of Pattern have a short story called "Barnabas" published in Spells: Ten Tales of Magic?

He most certainly did.

It took only three paragraphs to sympathize with the protagonist, Barnabas.  He's been looking for his magic for years to no avail.  That he knows of.  Can you find the gun on the mantle?

The reread value is high.  Everything is clearer once you've gotten to the ending on an initial read.  It doesn't lose much even after knowing.

I'm not from the South, but from what I could tell the dialect is perfect.  It's a little tough to understand at first because of that, yet it's definitely not a "deal-breaker".

(Actually taken from an email I sent to Jeff): Quite near the middle of the story I was surprised to find Barnabas' thoughts italicized for the first and last time in the story. On at least one other occasion the character spoke his thoughts aloud at a whisper. While the italicized thought did not derail me fully from the story, it broke my focus for a moment.  (My biggest criticism)

Overall, it's a great story and break-in for the soon-to-be-famous Mr. Hargett.  If you like literary fantasy, you'll like this.

12 comments:

  1. Hi, Patrick! I'm unfamiliar with this story and writer. I'll have to check it out!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Hello. I'm not surprised that you haven't heard of him, at least just yet. That was his first publication.

      Happy A to Z-ing to you as well.

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  2. I've not read much fantasy, but I'm beginning to love the genre, so this definitely goes on the 'to read' list. Thanks for the recommendation Patrick :)

    (Grover at Inane Ramblings)

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    1. You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I write novel length fantasy and read tons of it. I'm just starting to explore short story fantasy. Nice to meet you.

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    1. Same here, although I've yet to finish a novel and write mostly flash fiction. Nice to meet you as well.

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  4. Wow! I don't even know how to respond to this other than to say I think I'm flattered! And "soon-to-be-famous"?? We'll see. LOL But thanks for the nod there, Patrick. You made my day. :-)

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    1. You are most welcome, sir. I waited all day to hear your reaction.

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    2. I'm just glad I didn't miss it. I've been trying to hit so many posts during the A-to-Z challenge. It's gonna be a busy month!

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    3. It most certainly will be a busy month. I have lots of flash fiction to write. Lots...and lots...and lots...

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