Lydia Speaker written by Josh Herzog
What makes a great short story?
What did I just read? ‘Ass potatoes’
Sunday morning is a lazy time for me, hopefully, left up to me I wake up slow, sip my coffee and read the Toronto Star.
In the Insight section (one of my favorite sections, always like reading other people’s opinions and views on topics) there on IN6 was the intriguing title: Third place winner of the 2016 Toronto Star Short Story Contest. Winner of a contest and a short story, sounded perfect.
Yet, I am left staring at page IN6 wondering what on earth I just read. Seriously the short story made no sense whatsoever. Was that the point of the story?
Lydia Speaker written by Josh Herzog is about well…I am not to sure. A woman named Lydia, her dreams, a bump on the head, the subway, random thoughts that all add up to well…nothing. The continued theme throughout is about Lydia’s dreams and a bump on her head where she believes dreams come from.
Quote: ‘I’m sure it’s nothing.’ Phil said. But I knew it was something. It was the spot where my dreams come from.’
There is some vague idea about Lydia being a ‘machine’ that is touched upon, very lightly, but never expanded to make any sense. Similar to the author’s continued use of the word, ‘ass potatoes’. Yes he actually writes that many times, in fact goes off on a tangent about how saying ‘ass potatoes’ would help him to get out of a hostage situation. Again random and does not fit anywhere in the story.
So what in the world is this ‘story’ about? What makes a story? Usually a beginning, middle, end, character, setting and a plot….usually. This short story, Third place winner, is just random thoughts on paper that leaves the reader wondering, what the?
Read the short story and give me your opinion. Maybe, hopefully I am missing something amazing in the story that would make it a contender in the contest or even a story at all.