June 21, 2009

Short Story Fans?

Who is a short story fan? Short stories are not my normal choice for reading but, with extra time on my hands, no extra money and the books at the in-laws house just lying there begging to be read, I picked up a short story book. The author is Joe Hill, the book, 20th Century Ghosts. Most of the stories have been good. I'm down to the last story in the book to read. I have found though, that I'm not a literary minded person (if that's the correct wording). I'm a lazy reader who doesn't like to come up with the answers myself the way this author wants you to, so this leads to some disappointment for me. If someone has read this book, especially "My Father's Mask", please send me a spoiler. I'm dying to know the meaning of this story. This may give me some closure to this particular story and help me get some sleep tonight instead of sitting up wondering what the H-E-double hockey sticks this guy is trying to say with this story.


sewducky said...

I know Joe Hill is Stephen King's son. Which was a major spoiler for me.

As to the actual book, let me re-read it, since I haven't read it since it came out 3-4 years ago, and I'll send an email out to you.

sewducky said...

Ugh I just re-read your post, sorry. My Father's Mask was one that many needs to reread several time to grasp it.

Personally, I over think things. (I also will disclaim that my "over thinking" is really a few minutes to come to this conclusion.

My take was it's what it is to Joe to be King's son. Everyone wants a piece of him, and now Joe is ready to take on King's role in the community, and he had his father's blessings with it. At least that being the main kind of theme. I also think there were several nods to his father's work in it (notably Carrie with the kid on the bicycle, as the movie showed).

In the end this is one of those stories no one can agree on, and there's so much to it, you take the first thing from it, then dig a little to the next, and then the next and you and I will still disagree on it.

fadedstitch said...

Hmm, the "Stephen King is his dad" part is news to me. This could explain alot. Thanks for participating in this! In a very convoluted way, I can see where you're going with that. I'm still left scratching my head a bit over it. though. Maybe I should reread it and actually concentrate on it a little. Let me get back to you on it.

sewducky said...

That's kind of the trouble with this story, and Hill's writing in general: it's convoluted. I know Hill was doing a 3 things about the stories from the book on his blog a while ago, and never did get done with it, because so many people were like "wait..what?" over the stories.

I like Hill's writing, so it's not a bash against him, and I like the weirdness and the rather meandering ride to a theme that apparently is playing hide and seek, but sometimes I chalk some of it to he's trying way too hard to do that, as in the case of "My Father's Mask".

fadedstitch said...

I didn't mind his round about way of story writing either. I'm not a total fan of how he ends his stories. Make the ending up for me. I never really got into figuring out what the meaning of the story was. I just enjoy the story for what it is, a form of entertainment and a way to pass some time. "My Father's Mask" was just one of those stories that makes anyone stop and say, "There's something more to this story than what's in black and white".