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12 November 2008

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"After You, My Dear Alphonse" and "Charles"
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TadMack

Boy, that first one...!
What was surprising was that neither one of these were very much... horror oriented. Somehow I thought all the stories would be like THE LOTTERY. I have to say that Boyd did catch on, poor kid; adult resentment is so weird. And I figured out the Charles thing and it was confirmed when Charles came shouting up the hill... but it's very sad that his parents didn't get it sooner!

It's nice that some of these are online!

Leila

Yeah, poor Boyd. It felt like Mrs. Wilson tried to put him in the box she had in her head, and when he didn't fit, she just KEPT TRYING to cram him in. The bit at the end -- where it seemed clear to me that Boyd knew what was going on but Johnny didn't -- reminded me of Chris Lynch's Gold Dust.

EM

These are two of my favorites. If you like the lighter side of Shirley, go right now and find her two nonfiction books about her family, RAISING DEMONS and LIFE AMONG THE SAVAGES. I've read them several times and they keep getting funnier. (Perhaps because my kids keep getting older.)

gailg

I thought After You, My Dear Alphonse was a little on the obvious and instructive side, though I wonder if it was very original and cutting edge when it was written and published.

I remember Charles, also. It's a lovely story.

Leila

I can see the obvious and instructional about Alphonse, but I think it would have bothered me more if there'd been some Big Moment where Boyd Said Something Profound. Or if Johnny'd even noticed what was going on. Since there wasn't a Big Moment, I thought it felt like another slice-of-life.

And, yeah. Charles is lovely. I love that Laurie's teacher (and the other parents) must have been as excited to meet Laurie's mother as she'd been to meet Charles'.

EM, I know I've got copies of those somewhere -- I'll have to dig them out at some point soon!

Heidi

I didn't get that Johnny didn't get it, so I went back for another look. This time this sentence jumped out at me: "Mrs. Wilson lifted the plate of gingerbread off the table as Boyd was about to take another piece."

so saying that if you won't be grateful for free clothing, you can't have any more cookies.

So Johnny says, "She's screwy sometimes." Meaning, I take it, that he doesn't necessarily understand her actions as racist, but just think his mother acts irrationally at times.

So that makes me wonder why Boyd simply says, "So's mine."

Maybe because he realizes Johnny is blind to the race thing so far, and he wants to keep it that way as long as possible? Until Johnny becomes aware, they can just be two kids playing at soldiers and "after you."

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