Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Blood and Bone in Bambooland", by Cameron Ashley

From: Plots With Guns, Issue #9, June 2010.

Apparently Cameron Ashley and I have the same since of humor, 'cause I laughed out loud a couple of times while reading "Blood and Bone in Bambooland". If this story were set in the U.S., it would have to be a Southern Gothic, but even with the Down Under milieu, it's still pretty damn Gothic.

And it has the best Anglo-accented monologue since The Limey.

The plot? Mark is boss John G.'s newest flunky. A couple of his other boys killed somebody they really maybe ought not have, but it's done now, and John G. needs somebody to clean up the mess. So Mark is taking a trip out to the country to see the Eggman, who handles that sort of job. Things don't go exactly as planned, though, and Mark gets caught up in a feud between the Eggman and his horticulturist neighbor, a disagreement that ends badly all 'round.

It's the narrative voice that carries the story, though. Mark is the only one who can see how absurd all the clowns around him are, and sometimes it's a struggle not to laugh right in their faces. The reader, however, is free to laugh with abandon. A dark comedy but one I enjoyed.


Paul D Brazill said...

I agree. A cracking story with lots of great lines.

Jimmy Callaway said...

Cameron Ashley: when you want it done right.