‘Bravado’ by William Trevor

Bravado by William Trevor, 2007

The magic trick:

A violent story told calmly

William Trevor takes us inside the rocking, rollicking world of the teenage nightlife in Dublin. The screeching loud music of the club, the 2 a.m. walks home, and, most significantly in this story, the drunken showmanship of a young man trying to impress a young woman.

It’s a wild world where very dumb things happen very often.

So it’s not surprising then that something very dumb and very bad happens in this story.

What is surprising is the way the story’s volume never rises to match the plot’s drama. The storytelling here is so measured and so precise that its calmness in doling out the details only serves to emphasize the emotional destruction wrought by that drama.

And that’s quite a trick on Trevor’s part.

The selection:

Laughing again, Manning sounded drunk, Aisling thought. Not very, but a little. She’d been drunk once or twice herself but hadn’t liked it, everything slipping about, and the way you felt in the morning.

“Did you ever, though?” Manning pressed, offering Donovan a cigarette.

Donovan said he had of course, many a time, and Aisling knew all this was for her and for the girl who’d tagged along, whose name she had forgotten. “Awesome,” Donovan said, he and Manning lighting their cigarettes, sharing the match. No one else was a smoker.

READ THIS STORY ONLINE

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s