Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Bus Stop" By Joe Jennings A Story from 30 Under 30

"Bus Stop" By Joe Jennings (2012, 2 pages)

30 Under 30:  A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers edited by Elizabeth Reapy with a foreword by John Walsh

The Irish Quarter

Joe Jennings

"I gave a man his last cigarette today".

There are thirty stories in 30 Under 30:  A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers. So far I have posted on 14 of them.  (I totally endorse purchase of this very fairly priced collection and will provide a publisher's link at the end of this post.)   There is also a very interesting introduction  by the editor Elizabeth Reapy (I have posted on her very well done short story, "Statues") and a foreword  by John Walsh..   Agreeing with John Walsh, I think this book could well be a collector's item one day.  

Posting on collections of short stories that include the works of many different authors presents a big challenge, to me at least.    I do not personally care for reviews or posts on short story collections that simply have one or two lines on a few of the stories and then gush over the collection as a whole with standard book review quotes.  These could in fact easily be written without reading much of the collection and to me it is like going on about a forest without realizing it is made up of trees.   Because of the high quality of the stories and the collections ability to acquaint me with contemporary Irish short stories, I now plan to post individually on all of the stories in the collection.

Upon completion of this project, I will list my top five stories.   

"Bus Stop" by Joe Jennings is another brilliant example of flash fiction.   Jennings has packed  an incredible amount in this very brief story.   It covers only a few minutes maybe just one or two minutes in the lives of two men who meet by chance at a Dublin bus stop.   It is told by one of the men.   They are standing in the rain waiting for a bus.  The speaker notices the other man looks like a business man.  The business man asks the other for a cigarette, saying his wife hides his as she wants him to quit.   I see no logic to telling the plot of a two page story other than to say one of the men has reached what he sees as total dead end in his life and the other is a spectator to it without in advance understanding what will happen.   

I enjoyed and admired this wonderful story.   I hope to read more work by the author.

Author Data

Joe Jennings was born in 1987 and currently lives in Galway.   His interests are mainly in fiction and poetry.   He graduated from The National University of Ireland in Galyway in 2010 with an MA in writing.   He has read some of his work at the west Cork Literary Festival in 2011.

You can find more information on 30 Under Thirty:  A Selection of Short Stories by Thirty Young Irish Writers at the web page of Doire Press.  

Mel u

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