Thursday, October 13, 2011

IF YOU GO INTO THE WOODS by David Gaughran

I came across David Gaughran’s name on Twitter a little while back, and I started reading his blog shortly thereafter. I figured any guy who includes “resolute defender of the Oxford comma” in his Twitter description is okay in my book. When looking for a quick read last week, I noticed that Gaughran had a couple of short e-books available. I decided to give one a try, and I can say that I’m sure glad I did.

If You Go into the Woods is an e-book that contains two short stories, the title story and “The Reset Button.” In “If You Go into the Woods,” an eight-year-old boy has a penchant for mischief. This attraction draws him to the edge of the woods, where he can hear the birds repeating their calls in the dark canopy. As he listens to their calls, he becomes intrigued to the point that he must take action. But he soon learns that things are not as they sound.

In “The Reset Button,” a man is down on his luck and can’t seem to catch a break. He’s going through a difficult divorce and struggles to be the dad that his son needs. The more he tries to make things right, the more things spiral out of control. As he seeks respite from the storm of life in a bar, things only become more complicated for him.

The quality of writing in these two stories is simply amazing. The writing is mature, compelling, and enthralling. Both stories invite the reader in to participate with the characters, to become part of their lives. There’s a subtle tension that runs throughout Gaughran’s writing, pulling the reader along. My favorite of the two is the Philip K. Dickesque “The Reset Button.” Don’t miss this talented storyteller.