Title: The Sticks
Author JF Smith
Amazon: Buy Link The Sticks
Genre: gay fiction
Length: Short story/31 pages
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Percy’s given up. He’s given up and wants to be as far away as possible from the
place that has been the source of his troubles all his life. But to his
disappointment, he finds himself in the last place he expected. And a chance
encounter with a redneck and a stubborn hound dog aren’t helping, either. That
is… until they do.
Invincibility can be found in the strangest
This short story by JF Smith imagines that, perhaps, very big
things can happen in very small moments.
Just to make it very clear, while I do think that this author has a room to grow and develop in his writing, I am definitely already a fan of his work. I reviewed his novels “Falling from the Face of the Earth” and “Latakia” on the site and considering that I thought his writing already improved in Latakia, I could not wait to see what he would come up with next. The settings, themes and characters in his novels were completely different from each other, not repetitive at all, so I suspected that this is not an author to do the same thing over and over again and when I grabbed and read this short story, I saw that he wrote something completely different yet again.
So, this short story is not a romance, or a love story. It is a story about the effects of bullying on a young person. I don’t think we could ever have enough stories which show the devastating effect of bullying on our kids and teenagers, hopefully those stories would help at least some of them to get through high school by encouraging and supporting them.
But besides that, this story is just so beautiful. On the surface it is deceptively simple, but as reviews on Amazon state (yes, I purchased this story and when I do so sadly I always read reviews), if you know at least some very basic Greek mythology (really really basic – at least in my opinion, just need to know some basic figures), the story would hit you so much harder and the tragic interpretation would become so much more obvious. I did not feel that I was reading an antibullying Public Service Announcement though, but a work of art. I was very pleased to see that this writer can do a shorter form so well. There is some ambiguity left in the interpretation in my opinion, because not everything goes according to the mythological path either, if I remember my Greeks well, or maybe I am just a hopeless lover of happy endings.
Not much is happening in this story, even though a lot happens to main character, hence my review is so short, but I highly recommend this story.