MAS Story Writers Blog


Posted in Uncategorized by brianjrez on November 13, 2009

A  while back I read this book by Russell Banks called, The Sweet Hereafter.  It’s a first-person narrative told from the perspective of multiple characters.  In a small town, a school bus is involved in an accident where it ends up on a frozen lake, falls in and numerous children are killed or severely injured.  A lawyer comes to town to help (or so he thinks he is) but ends up pitting the town against one another.  The lawyer, who’s daughter is a junkie, is fighting the feeling of losing a child as well but never really shares that with anyone other than the reader.  I suppose the theme of this story is that money cannot fix your problems, and the pursuit of it through dishonest means will leave you very lonely.

Next, something most of you have probably read is, The Things The Carried, by Tim O’brien.  This collection of fictional short stories about Vietnam carry numerous themes but I think the actual theme of the whole collection is a theme of being a good writer.  About using what O’brien calls, “story truth,” and then distinguishing that from, “happening truth.”  It’s supposedly a fiction but O’brien continually blurs the line of what really happened with what didn’t really happen.  Or, it is about how war is hell, take your pick.

Finally, the theme of Anchorman is acceptance.  In a cruel world, we all just want to be accepted for who we are and for what we like.


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