Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thanksgiving, by Jeffrey Ford

★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Uncanny Horror) A group of friends discovers that none of them really knows who “Uncle Jake” is, even though he joins them for Thanksgiving every year. (3,602 words; Time: 12m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)

"Thanksgiving," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 11-12|18, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2018.595 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It definitely makes you thankful that your own Thanksgiving dinner went nothing like this one—even if you do have relatives whom you’d like to see melt away.

Con: It beggars belief that you’d have someone at Thanksgiving dinner whom no one knew. None of the characters is at all memorable, and the final conclusion—that Uncle Jake was the only one who was real—is too pat.

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This one didn't really work for me, either.

    It felt very much like a shaggy dog story -- less actual story, more a group of people talking about how weird $THING is. "Do you know him?" "No! Do you know him?" "No! Wait, do you know him--?"

    It's a very short piece, of course, so it doesn't need to sustain itself very long. There's a place for shaggy dog stories in magazines :) I just feel this one didn't find quite the right hook.

    1. You're right that being short helps. A lot of stories get a 3 because they're so short there's not time for them to grate on me enough to recommend against them. In this case, though, the premise was impossible for me to swallow. Particularly since it's not played for laughs.