I decided to shake things up and not read last week’s New Yorker short story. Instead, I read the most recent offering from One Story – a story by Robert McCarthy called “Stag.”
I’ve been a One Story subscriber for a couple of years now. I like the concept: each month they send me one story in an easy-to-carry little booklet.
I’ve had mixed feelings about the stories, but mostly I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read. They tend to be less experimental – less odd in their structure – then a lot of the New Yorker stories. Some of the subject matter is off-beat (those are actually the ones I tend to like), but they’re told in a good old-fashion story telling way. Some of my favorites are “Hurt People,” “The Tennis Player,” “Sir Fleeting,” “Harriet Elliot,” “We Bluegills,” and “Safe Passage.”
Unfortunately, “Stag” didn’t blow me away. That may be because of the blue-collar nature of the story. I’m not really a blue-collar fiction aficionado (expect, of course, for Raymond Carver).
I also found the whole scene with the deer strange. If a deer breaks into your home and you successful escape the room with the deer, why would you go back in? And, would you really wrestle the deer to the ground and break its neck? Me: I’d be calling someone on the phone.
But what do I know? The author says he based the deer episode on something he read in a newspaper. And that brings me to one of my favorite parts of One Story – the online author Q&A. So if you want to read what the author has to say about his piece, go here.