Perhaps you read my losing contest entry into the Rave Reviews Book Club short story writing contest the other day. If not, here is the post.
Yesterday, I received a free critique of my story and it was pretty awesome.
Here it is:
The Pool Boy was a witty, intelligent play on the dreams and reality of an author’s life. Even if the reader can guess where the story is heading, the author still manages to suck us into the soap opera-like parallel narrative that masquerades as the actual story. Perhaps an appropriate subtitle to the story would have been, “How our imagination allows us to escape real life.”
My only concern had to do with the choice of a neurotic, homicidal employer-from-hell as the main character of the story. A more sympathetic one might have allowed the reader to connect more with the story.
I particularly enjoyed the contrast between the last paragraph and the rest of the story. This is obvious even in the writing; rich and over the top in the first part and subdued and down-to-earth in the final paragraph. The ending itself, with poor Charlie’s fate becoming clear to us, could not help but give me a chuckle…the thought of the five hundred dollar wedges playing the part of the sledgehammer she would like to use against the real-life neighbor’s lawnmower making me grin.