Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Last Mountain Gorilla and other shorts

Short stories are amazing things.  An author gets a story told, a point made, or drives an image home in just a few pages, sometimes only one. Short stories vary in type and style, from those that tell the traditional story of setup, climax, resolution, to those whose sole purpose is to make you feel or think. I remember being disappointed and actually stopping my subscription to Science Fact and Fiction (commonly known as SF&F) when they began to publish what I termed psychological stories.  These stories were based solely on some obscure message about a person's thinking or feeling without a resolution of any sort. I missed the old conflict/resolution plots. However, sometimes, if they are written well and they hit home, 'psychological' stories can be exceptionally good. The best stories are either very strong conflict/resolution or psychological/resolution. We like to have some resolution. Then again, once in a great while you find books that have no solid resolution but are ultimately satisfying. If the image or emotion the story sets out to display hits home, the reader can sigh with satisfaction as well. Today's choice had me sighing all week.

The Last Mountain Gorilla
by Gary Ponzo
File Size: 126 KB
Print Length: 29 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

About the book:
There are three short stories in this little gem and well worth the money (less than a cup of coffee!).  The first is about a photographer trying to get a picture of a mountain gorilla during a civil war.  The second is about the
sacrifices a scientist makes in his quest for knowledge and how he deals with it.  The third takes us to a prison where a notorious criminal and breakout artist is cornered by both the inmates wanting to break out with him and the warden who wants to know his history. Because they are short stories, I don't want to say much more than that about each so as not to destroy the surprises, however, if you really want to know ALL about the stories, there is a review on Amazon which has all the spoilers in it you could possibly want.

My take:
The writing in these short stories is well paced and clear.  The descriptions, which tend to be hard to write in a short, come across as full bodied. The stories themselves seem to strike a cord which for me is the reason to read shorts. I know the images from The Last Mountain Gorilla will stay with me for a long time in much the same way the movie Enemy Mine has done and for similar reasons. While The Last Mountain Gorilla kept me on the edge of my seat, The Escape Artist kept me guessing. All are good.

I look forward to reading more of Gary Ponzo's work.

I highly recommend this to everyone.

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