Sunday, October 21, 2018

How To Talk To Girls At Parties by Neil Gaiman Review


The story 'How To Talk To Girls At Parties' by Neil Gaiman was nominated in 2007 for the Hugo Award. It means that the story was recognized as one of the best examples of contemporary sci-fiction work. The story includes some elements of sci-fiction, although the elements of fantasy and comics are more noticeable.


Primarily, the story expressed the feelings of young boys toward aliens for them: girls of their age. The plot is presented as a narration of memories which the main character recollected: what happened thirty years ago when he was sixteen.


Two boys were going to participate in the party.  The narrator felt very uncomfortable in communication with girls and he tried to fix it. He thought about girls the same as aliens who came to the earth from another planet. He thought about the controversy of awareness since they grew up together and they became so different. Let's look at how it was written in the story:


"... when you start out as kids you're just boys and girls, going through time at the same speed, and you're all five, or seven, or eleven, together. And then one day there's a lurch and the girls just sort of sprint off into the future ahead of you, and they know all about everything, and they have periods and breasts and makeup and God-only-knew-what-else -- for I certainly didn't. The diagrams in biology textbooks were no substitute for being, in a very real sense, young adults."


As it appeared in the story two boys mistakenly came to another party where they met real aliens. It was becoming gradually clear, the girls there were really strange: one girl had six fingers on her hand, the next girl spoke in a very vague manner and so on.


It is remarkable what one girl said about poetry, "We knew that it would soon be over, and so we put it all into a poem, to tell the universe who we were, and why we were here, and what we said and did and thought and dreamed and yearned for. We wrapped our dreams in words and patterned the words so that they would live forever, unforgettable. Then we sent the poem as a pattern of flux, to wait in the heart of a star, beaming out its message in pulses and bursts and fuzzes across the electromagnetic spectrum, until the time when, on worlds a thousand sun systems distant, the pattern would be decoded and read, and it would become a poem once again."


The metaphorical, even philosophical meaning differentiates this story and makes it universal. There is a film with the same title based on the plot of the story. Production of this movie focused on the youth movement; punk in this case. Every reader can find in the story something remarkable. It is why the story was recognized as a winner of reader's sympathies.


This is a link to the text of the story:

Monday, October 15, 2018

August Heat by W. F. Harvey Review


The short story 'August Heat' by W. F. Harvey represents a certain type of mystical genre. The artist intentionally drew a portrait of the man whom he never saw. The man from the picture was a master of monuments who wrote the name of this artist with a day of his death (today) on this monument. He never met this artist.


These two main characters were faced with something inevitable and it seemed that it happened at the end of the story.
Here is the link to the text of the story:

Sunday, October 14, 2018

“What do fish have to do with anything?” by Avi Review


The story 'What do fish have to do with anything' written by an American author, Edward Irving Wortis, better known by the pen name Avi, is dedicated to readers of a young age. The schools include this story in the study-books for the seventh grade.

The main character, the teenage-boy, tries to figure out how to cope with unhappiness. He sees his mother who is unhappy because his dad has left the family. Before the time of narration, he saw his father who lost his job. The boy found the cure to unhappiness in the phrase of a homeless man. This man said, “What a person needs is always more than they say".

The author gave readers this vague phrase to think about it along with a few messages related to moral choice for a young generation.
This is a link to the text of the story:

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Dry September by William Faulkner Review


William Faulkner wrote this story about life in the South of the US. The author described a severe living condition there when the weather in that year was especially harsh. The plot reflects a rough relationship in a society. People might be unjust to others and very cruel. Faulkner gave a relevant title for the story - 'Dry September'.


The author raises in the story racial problems in the American South. He explores the motivation: what makes people so cruel and what differs a mob from a previously friendly group of people. Although the writing style of William Faulkner is relatively difficult for reading, his prose gives readers the unforgettable feeling of time and place in the narration.


This is a link to the text of the story:

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Rain by William Somerset Maugham Review


The story 'Rain' was written by famous British writer William Somerset Maugham. It discloses the belief which is often disguised in the illusion of a decent appearance.


The author describes the journey of a family of missionaries and their unforeseen stop on a remote island near Australia. They had to leave with a light-minded young woman, Ms. Thompson. She attracted the sailors, organized parties. Her style of behavior led her to prison.


The most strong missionary, Mr. Davidson used his influence for the island's governor to send her to San-Francisco, actually to prison. Finally, Mr. Davidson appeared to be tempted by Ms.Thompson. The author chose not to mention what really happened. Ultimately Mr. Davidson committed suicide. In the last lines of the story, the girl cried, "‘You men! You filthy, dirty pigs! You're all the same, all of you. Pigs! Pigs!'. The other main character of the story, the missionary Dr. Macphail gasped. He understood.


Maugham described an everyday routine which these two families lived in quite thoroughly. It made the story longer than usual short story’s format. But this strategy allowed the author to show how striking the difference between people’s words and actions could be.




This is a link to the text of the story:

The Beauty of Moscow Autumn


CNN listed Moscow, Russia as a top tourist destination for visiting in the autumn. This picture which I took today on the  Vorobyevskaya Embankment of Moscow River proves this statement.