‘Son Of The Wolfman’ by Michael Chabon

Chabon, Michael 1998

Son Of The Wolfman by Michael Chabon, 1998

The magic trick:

Using neutral narration in order to allow the feelings to naturally come to the fore

Check out the narration in this one. It’s very flat, very balanced. Check out the language. It’s very plain. You never feel like the story is working hard to sell you on high emotion or melodrama. There’s no need when your premise features a married couple dealing with a pregnancy brought on by rape. There is more than enough emotion and melodrama in a plot like that. The writing here does a good job of staying out of the way and letting those high-volume feelings come to the fore on their own. And that’s quite a trick on Chabon’s part.

The selection:

“I probably should have said something before,” Cara said. “This baby. It isn’t Richie’s.”

Richard’s hands had settled on his knees. He stared at the stretched and distorted yellow daisies printed on the fabric of Cara’s leggings, his shoulders hunched, a shadow on his jaw.

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