Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Two Sentence Tuesday: 3 February 2009

I'm reading Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason, a beautiful yet somber murder mystery set in Iceland. The prose in translation in not Dostoevsky nor even Chandler but its evocative of the weather, the gloom, the somber cadence of a main character who seems to be walking under his own personal gray cloud.

However, there is, so far, one laugh-out-loud funny line at the end of one of the chapters. It surprised me and helped me to realize that every story needs a laugh or two, especially one with such dour characters. Sigurdur Oli is the main character's partner and he's trying to question a man in connection with a murder.
At this, Sigurdur Oli redoubled his efforts, arched himself and stood on tiptoe and shouted at the top of his voice at the very moment everything fell completely silent and his words echoes in all their glory around the walls of the gigantic warehouse and out into the yard:
For my own two sentences, something different. The crime scene in this story involves a statue, here in Houston, memorializing the collaboration of the armies of South Vietnam and the US. Of my two police detectives, one is Vietnamese-American and this is how he verbalizes his distaste at what he sees:

“This monument honors all the brave ones who stayed behind and held off the Viet Cong when there were no more rafts or boats to get people off the beach after the US chickened out. And now it’s desecrated.”
For other Two Sentence Twofers, head on over to Women of Mystery.


David Cranmer said...

Murder mystery set in Iceland sounds interesting... Are your lines from a short story or a novel you're working on? And you can never go wrong by throwing "desecrated" into a sentence.

sandra seamans said...

Wow! Your two sentences say so much about the war, about Viet Nam, and about the people who fought and died there. Funny how two sentences can sum up such tragedy so perfectly. I look forward to reading the rest of your story.

I think some kind of humor is necessary in all stories, even black humor can lighten a story so the reader can catch their breath and continue.

Scott Parker said...

David - It's a short story. My second novel is in development hell. I've got the story but something doesn't feel right about it. Thus, I've decided to write a few short stories featuring the same characters. I want to see how they act and interact and that'll help my novel.

Sandra - Thank you for the compliment. History is the discipline in which I hold both my degrees. It's a passion for me. I'll be infusing history in as much fiction as I can. Ironically, I tend to write my thoughts in threes which makes two sentence Tuesday a challenge.

Gail Stockton said...

Your character sounds interesting. There's still so much to be said about the Vietnam war. Did you read 'Black Echo' by Michael Connelly? It's his first book and deservedly won the Edgar Award and has a lot of flashbacks and dreams about that war.