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

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"Better, Not" by Colm O'Shea (2013)

March 1 to April 28

Colm O'Shea

"Better, Not" is Irish Noir, from the Samuel Beckett issue of The Bohemyth-A Literary Journal.   (As you can and should read this story online at the link I will share at the end of this post, I will keep my remarks brief).   Colm O'Shea begins this told in the first person story in a dark alley on a rainy night.   The narrator is there waiting for someone to come out the door, at first I thought OK the narrator is a professional killer but I soon realized he was not.  Of course I wanted to know who he was waiting for, did he really plan to kill him and what are his reasons for this hate.  Like in old movie of the 1940s, the seen is gritty and marvelously underdeveloped and even though the story is just a few pages long, it is luxuriously lugubrious.   The narrator wants, it seems, his victim to see him so he will at the last moment reflect on the wrong he has done to the narrator.  The narrator is a bit confused and rambling and more than a little scared.  O'Shea does a great job of bringing us into the mental state of the narrator.  We see that the victim, I admit I am not real sure of this part and I think that is because of the confused memory of what might be very old events, and the narrator were once friends.   

This is a very good story and I look forward to reading more of the author's work.  

You can read this story here.   I follow The Bohemyth:  A Literary Journal and I am always glad to see a notice in my mail box that a new issue is up.

Colm O’Shea is originally from Leixlip, County Kildare. He currently lives in Dublin City where he works as a Civil Engineer. He was one of the winners, in 2012, of the inaugural Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair Competition. Check out his blog

Colm O'Shea has kindly agreed to participate in a Q and A Session so please look for that soon.

Mel u

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