Monday, November 12, 2007

SHORT STORY MONDAY: Two Tales For the Holidays

The Christmas Tree by David Adams Richards
Two Tales for the Holidays

I recently read Richards book Hockey Dreams and really enjoyed the writing of his reminiscence of life playing hockey on the Miramichi River. This slim little volume is more of the same, but fictional, thoughts of Christmases from ago.

Carmichael's Dog tells the story of two little boys, who find a dog on Christmas Eve, which is, of course, the perfect present for their widowed mother. But the story is more about what life used to be like, when kids ran the neighbourhood, outside all the time, with nothing more than a 'be home by dinner' as they live. It is also about the rules of the street, being confronted by another kid when you are doing something you aren't supposed to do. And Richards has a way of writing, that brings you right back there.

The Christmas Tree is the story with the miracle of sorts. Two brothers, again, in their twenties go looking to chop down a tree, because in those days, nobody buys a tree. My husband was like this when I met him - they always chopped down a tree from the woods, he could not understand buying a tree. So these boys, and a neighbourhood urchin whom they don't know, go to the woods looking for a tree. But like most university age kids, the trip was afoot before any real plan, like an axe, was thought of.

Both stories had plenty of humor, and were perfectly touching for Christmas. And because they are memories, just like all Christmas memories can be, are looked at through the rose coloured glasses. But this is just the kind of story to read to get in the mood for Christmas. I am becoming quite a fan of Mr Richards' writing. My only problem here was that these were fiction, and the last book of his I read was nonfiction, and I felt like these was his real stories, so that distracted me a bit. Christmas stories are perfect for short stories, so I'll have to look for some more.

1 comment:

  1. Getting a jump start on the holidays?

    I know what you're saying about the rose-coloured glasses, and while normally I don't have time for such sentimentality, I totally forgive it at Christmas. Bring on the Norman Rockwell.


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