So many stories I come across may bang around in my head—at best—for a few minutes after I’ve finished them. But I can sit here and recall “A Small Good Thing” in such detail—emotional detail—without even a glance at the text. That’s a well-told story, I’d say.
On June 9, 1992 I turned seventeen years old and my father gave me a single gift: a book that contained a short story that changed my life. The book was Septuagenarian Stew by Charles Bukowski and the short story was the first in the collection: “Son of Satan.” It’s a simple story, really, just six and a half pages long, propelled by curse-riddled dialogue and clipped, action-filled sentences. Classic Bukowski. But unlike many of Buk’s bum and whore populated tales, “Son of Satan” is told by an eleven-year-old narrator. After the narrator and his two friends accuse another boy […]
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