Good Night… Sleep Tight

I hear something under my bed. I think there’s something down there!

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Short Story Review: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Sunday, 12th November 2017

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Story Title: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Author: Ambrose Bierce

Date of Publication: 1890

 

This story has a twist ending that I really don’t want to spoil for anyone who hasn’t read it. But in essence this story starts with a man who is about to be hanged for treason. The story is set during the American Civil War and our main character is a wealthy Southern slave owner (and proud of that) and he has been captured by the Union army for his attempts against them. The man is hanged, but the rope breaks and he falls into the water below and commences his escape.

 

I’ll include a link to read the story (free) for yourself, here.

 

There’s also a short movie of the story, it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, if you’d like to watch – here. The movie is less than 30 minutes in length and doesn’t have much dialogue. It’s enjoyable though

 

What did I like?

I really enjoyed this story. The twist ending really added to it overall. The twist ending is something that, while not necessarily unexpected, was great and really made the story interesting.

 

What didn’t I like?

Truthfully there wasn’t much I could say I didn’t like without being extremely nit picky or spoiling the twist.

 

Would I recommend it?

This is an amazing story and the twist ending. Well worth reading!

 

My Personal Rating: 4.5/5

 

(I apologise that it’s vague and short – I really wanted to avoid spoilers, especially for the ending. Now I’m gonna go watch this film while I’ve got it open)

 

Until next time,

Warm hugs

Morgenstern!

Short Story Review: Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Friday, 10th November 2017

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Story Title: Young Goodman Brown

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Date of Publication: 1835

 

The story begins with Goodman Brown leaving home reluctantly for unknown reasons, though it is implied it is something questionable. On his travels through a wooded area he meets a man, who is possibly the Devil. At first he wants nothing to do with the mysterious man. Time passes, the two continue on their path, despite Goodman’s desire to return home. People from his town pass through the forest on their way to a Devil worshiping ceremony. This leads Goodman to a sort of epiphany – that people are not as good or pious as they seem. He becomes bitter and frustrated for the remainder of his life.

 

I’ll include a link to the story, here.

 

What did I like?

This story is fairly ambigious in nature, and is – in my opinion – open to quite a significant amount of individual interpretation. I liked that it left a lot to the imagination and there was no force-feeding of exact information. In a weird way, I almost felt as though I was walking down a dark wooded path with a mysterious and somewhat dubious character.

 

What didn’t I like?

On the other hand, as I read the story I felt the story was very vague. Goodman Brown leaves home to do something – it’s never clearly stated – and meets a man en route. Did he intend to meet this man all along? (I got the impression he didn’t) If not where was he going? What was he doing? What was so bad about it? (As part of his inner monologue he feels what he’s doing is not a particularly good thing). Who really is this man? As the reader I can only speculate. What’s his interest in Goodman Brown? What does he want? There’s no clear motive for anything. The ending is a particularly gloomy ending and actually quite underwhelming. Goodman has this huge (at least for him) epiphany and it ends with him dying a miserable old man. It almost felt rushed.

 

Would I recommend it?

Yes, I would recommend it. It is an interesting story.

 

My Personal Rating: 3/5

 

Until next time,

Warm hugs

Morgenstern!