Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"On Paladin Road" by Patti Abbott

Here's irony: of all the blogger friends and pals I've met on my journey, I have not read much of their fiction. And believe me, they have written a lot of fiction. Ya'll know who you are.

Patti Abbott, the head mistress of the fabulously fun Friday's Forgotten Books, has a new story up at A Twist of Noir. It's called "On Paladin Road" and you have to go and take a read at it. You won't be disappointed.

Patti's lamented a few times about the types of stories she writes and the available outlets for said stories. And I think she has a point. There's the hard-edged sites and the soft-edged sites and there's not a great middle ground.

But a story like Patti's is a precious thing. Her prose has a nice, graceful elegance to it, the kind of prose one normally associates with 'literary' writers. As the grandson of a carpenter and the son of a woodworker, I can feel and see the type of workshop Patti describes here: "The steely gleam of sharpened tools, the bouquet composed of oils, wax and freshly cut wood, the familiar pitch of a blade making the first cuts into a good piece of Pennsylvania cherry, were intoxicating." To me, it's the little nuances like this passage that brings a basic story up a notch or two, becoming something else.

Over on her blog the other day, she posed a question "What great movie would you not watch again?" I made my choices (you'll have to jump to her site to see them) and one of the movies I consider very good I'll never watch again merely for the ending. What I'm not saying is that the ending isn't good. It is. It stays with me and everytime I think about the movie, a hole in my stomach opens up.

I got that kind of feeling with the ending of "On Paladin Road." It fits, of course, but it's, it's...well, just go see for yourself.


David Cranmer said...

Scott, You and I are simpatico. I highlighted those same lines in my comments to Patti. You're right that this is literary prose that's elevating our crime fiction zines. The same thing Hammett did for the old pulps.

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