Post April 13, 2011, 09:43:49 AM

Blue (As In An Early Frost) by Rob Hunter

A very confusing story, this one. I found it hard to follow on a first read, but much clearer once I had an idea of where it was going.

It’s not just a ghost story, it’s a temporally panoramic snapshot of the evolution of life in a small town. Dagnabbit, that sentence almost makes sense. Let me try again.

The story meanders through time and is told from the perspective of a 70 year-old woman who just came from the funeral home with her father’s ashes. It’s a retrospective on life lived, life wasted, and what footprints we leave behind in the interim. It’s really good stuff.

For the most part, I thought Libby was delusional as to being haunted, till her dad showed-up at the funeral home looking for his stuff.

There are themes here that I can sense, but not necessarily understand. Dust motes as miniature universes, and dust on the inside of the cathode ray tube of an old TV. (Impossible, actually, because if it were dusty in there, the thing wouldn’t work.)

Like all of Mr. Hunter’s work, the characters are alive on the page and way more complex than they have any right to be. They don’t just do and say things, they have reasons for their actions. They got to where they are in the story through a long and complicated process of things they did, and things they didn’t do. They are who they are because of compromises that are alluded to, but left to the reader to imagine.

Mr. Hunter’s characters are inconsistent—just like real folks—and don’t even know why they do some of the things he makes them do. I mean. . .who would lie about liking anchovies?

Wait! Maybe that’s the only thing I truly understood in the tale.

Read it, folks. See if you can figure it out. The language is entrancing.

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."