Saturday, August 17, 2002

Watty is inspired:

I've just read a short story by Patrick Marber called 'Peter Shelley'. Marber is my near-contemporary, and he writes about being 14 years old at almost the exact time that I was 14 years old, which is what drew me to the story in the first place. Now here's an interesting thing. The story is close to perfect - you can almost smell and taste the things that happen - and has that elusive killer short story payoff: the end which leaves you imagining, rather than wanting to know for sure, what happens next. (Too many short stories, in my opinion, are written as elaborate lead-ins to weak punchlines, rather than trying to tell an encapsulated story.) The thing is, if he can write that well, so can I - in my own mind at least - which is the opposite reaction to the one I have when reading Carver or John Irving short stories, when I generally lay the book down with heavy heart, sighing: 'I'll never be able to write like that...'

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