Monday, September 21, 2009

Homework by Phil Lovesey

The latest EQMM has a story by the son of one of my favorite short story writers, Peter Lovesey. Phil Lovesey's story, "Homework" is a good crime story told in an interesting way - a tenth grader's homework essay. Now, there is a danger in a tenth grader's essay - to make it seem authentic, the author, no matter how skilled, must make the essay read poorly. In the case of this story, for instance, there are a fair number of run on sentences. Oh, and digressions. And fairly superficial readings of Hamlet. If you've taught English, you know what I'm talking about.

But these things don't ever overwhelm the story. And the story is a good one. The student feels she's been slighted by the teacher who asked for the assignment, and she has learned some details about that teacher that he might not want divulged. Things go downhill for the teacher from there. And he won't know who has devised his doom until he reads the homework assignments. For reasons I won't give away, it might be a while before he gets to them.

Anyway, if you want a good story told in a unique manner, try out the latest EQMM.

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