Monday, March 09, 2009

Without Anesthesia by Maceias Nunes

As I often do, I started reading the latest EQMM with the shortest story in the volume - I'm a notoriously slow reader. Short stories can take me days. Anyway, in this case, the story was quite short - about three pages. Still, the author - this is his first fiction - was able to pack quite a punch. The story is about a Nazi hiding in Brazil. In this case, the narrator is offered money to keep quiet about the Nazi. The narrator being poor but principled means this won't be an easy decision. The fact that the narrator is in love with the Nazi's daughter makes it even more difficult. Anyway, what the narrator decides and, especially why, is the twist here.

Then, of course, there's the question of whether you can ever be happy again once you've been propositioned by a Nazi. In any event, the prose is crisp and clear, but I felt the story could have been helped by being longer - I would have liked more development of the narrator. Still, if you're going to err about the length of a story, it's better to be too short than too long. Don't get me wrong. The story is a good read and worthy of your attention. I guess I'd just like it if there were more of it to enjoy.

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