The Time Traveller’s Almanac: Fish Night by Joe Lansdale

TimeTravellerToday I’m posting a short piece as part of Time Travel Thursday – which I was introduced to by DJ at My Life My Books My Escape who has been gradually reading and reviewing the stories within the Almanac with a group of other bloggers.  I might not get round to reading and posting each week but I will try and do a couple every month.

Fish Night by Joe Lansdale is the first story that I’ve read from the Time Traveller’s Almanac.  It’s only a short story and took but a few minutes to read but it was entertaining and Lansdale writes with the sort of prose that makes you stop in your tracks a little just to have a think about what he’s written.  For example, I love his descriptions of the desert and the shifting sands which make it feel like a midnight sea – it’s also a fitting description given the rest of the story.  Basically this is a story of a car breaking down in the desert.  It involves two characters, a younger and older man.  The older guy has a story to tell about an experience he had in this same spot many years ago.  A ghostly apparition if you will but not the kind you may suspect or ever guess.  In fact this tale seems unbelievably fantastical and at the same time harmless.   I must confess that I was prepared for something really dark and twisted, in fact I was expecting to be given the chills – what the author actually manages to achieve is to pull you in, in such a short spell, hook you and then give a twist to the tale that is really surprising.  I have to applaud Lansdale.  This was not what I expected and it caught my attention, not just for the short spell it took to read but also after I finished while I thought about the implications.

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If you want to join in: next Thursday: The Lost Pilgrim by Gene Wolfe