Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Shooting of John Roy Worth

by Stuart Kaminsky

From EQMM, this is a story that we (Liz and Stevens) thought could have appeared in "The New Yorker." That's because it is a linear work where the only event that occurs is that the protagnist gets shot (nearly) to death. Kaminsky has written a sly tale of a slightly simple man who is looking for a way to limited greatness (by killing a celebrity) and guaranteed security (by going to jail for it). Yet, it's a rambling piece with a few forced bits. The very last paragraph suggests that Wally (the protag) makes more choices than the reader might have known. Still, one is left to wonder if this story--by Very Famous Author Stuart Kaminsky--tests the theory that all fiction is treated equally when it lands on the editor's desk.


liz said...

The ending redeems it, but this is another one of those that I wish the author had done a few more revisions of after finishing it the first time. He says he didn't know where the story was going when he sat down to write it and you can tell.

Steve said...

That revelation from the end-notes was very, uh... revealing, wasn't it? Usually, I don't like hearing from an artist about their work (or about themselves). This experiment is for learning about the creative process, however, and I think this time we got a glimpse of something important. Kaminsky didn't know how this story would go until after he started it (he says). I agree, it shows. There is clearly a split of opinion/method among writers about whether or not one must/should know the ending before one starts. I guess I don't much care which way a writer does it, but I do agree that this story shows the need for rewrite, and it may well come from the fact that he made it up as he wrote it.