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10th Grade202432 Stories4th of July99 DaysA Change in AltitudeA Demon in My ViewA Dream of WolvesA Falling KnifeA Finely Tuned Apathy MachineA Heart of StoneA Life Lived RidiculouslyA Multitude of SinsA Parting GiftA Question of BloodA Quiet PlaceA Red Heart of MemoriesA River SutraA Short History of Tractors in UkrainianA Slight Trick of the MindA Stir of BonesA Thousand Miles from NowhereA Voyage Long and StrangeA Wedding in December About a BoyAbraham LincolnAcross the River and Into the TreesActs of GodAfrican PsychoAfter DarkAfter YouAfter You'd GoneAfterwardsAgenda for MurderAliens in the Prime of Their LivesAll Alone in the UniverseAll Families Are PsychoticAll in the MindAll the Way HomeAltered LandAlternatives to SexAmanda's WeddingAmelia RulesAmericaAmerica AmericaAmnesiaAmong the DepartedAn Object of BeautyAngelsAngry Youth Comix #2AnimosityAnne SextonAre You Experienced?Aristotle and Poetic JusticeAristotle DetectiveArlington ParkArtemis FowlAs Hot as It Was You Ought to Thank MeAsking For MurderAtonementAway Laughing on a Fast CamelBabylon and Other StoriesBad BoyBad SeedBag Of BonesBalancing ActsBarbara the Slut and Other PeopleBeach RoadBeat the ReaperBeautiful GirlsBed of RosesBefore I Go to SleepBefore the FrostBeg the QuestionBeginner's GreekBellyBeneath the SkinBenedictionBest New American VoicesBig BrotherBilly and GirlBiteBlack & WhiteBlack HelicoptersBlack Market TruthBlameBlanketsBleed for MeBlind SightBlonde FaithBlood, Salt, WaterBlueprints for Building Better GirlsBody SurfingBoneMan's DaughtersBoneyardBoneyardBoomsdayBorder CrossingBoth Ways Is the Only Way I Want ItBoysBracketBrain TrustBrava, ValentineBreaking Out of BedlamBreathing UnderwaterBrick LaneBridge of SighsBridget JonesBridget Jones's DiaryBrief Interviews with Hideous MenBruisesBrŁselBullyBurn, Bitchy, BurnButterflyBy BloodBy The Sea ShoreCalled to KillCanadaCanvasCaricatureCase HistoriesCellCemetery DanceChange of HeartChangesChasing the DimeChild 44Cinema PanopticumCinnamon KissCircle NineCity of the LostClay's WayClose toYouClose Your EyesCloud 9 AffairCoincidenceCold CaseCold HitCold in HandCollected StoriesCome Up and See Me SometimeComfort and JoyCompulsionConfessions of a ShopaholicConfessions of an Ex-GirlfriendConsider LoveCouch FictionCrispinCross CountryCruddyCrumpleCutCypherDaddy's GirlsDakotaDamageDancing After HoursDanger in High PlacesDanger! Cross CurrentsDante's PoisonDante's WoodDarkest FearDating Without NovocaineDead BoysDead Canaries Don't SingDead EndDead EvenDeadly AdviceDeadly ButterflyDeadly GambleDeaf SentenceDear American AirlinesDear Zoe,Death of a Department ChairDeath of an AddictDeath with InterruptionsDeath Without TenureDeceitDecemberDeceptionDefending JacobDeliverance From EvilDemonologyDepraved HeartDisobedienceDisturbing GroundDivine JusticeDivisaderoDixie RoadDr. Jekyll & Mr. HydeDriftlessDuplicityEcstasyEmerald City BluesEmpire FallsEmpress of the WorldEnd over EndEven DeadlierEven Dogs in the WildEvenings at FiveEvery Visible ThingEye ContactFaking ItFalling ManFamily HistoryFascinationFat Angie Fear of the DarkFeeling Sorry for CeliaFellsideFeminist Philosophy And Science FictionFever 1793Field of BloodFinal JeopardyFlashpointFlorid StatesForgive the MoonFortunate SonFortune's RocksFour Blind MiceFour CornersFred the ClownFrom Girls to GrrlzGallatin CanyonGaudi AfternoonGenerosityGeorgia Under WaterGhost at the WindowGiftedGiganticGirl in TranslationGirl Walking BackwardsGirls Closed InGirls Like UsGod HeadGod Is DeadGod Is Not OneGods and BeastsGoldengroveGone GirlGood GriefGrace, Tamar and Laszlo the BeautifulGuises of DesireHalf In Love With DeathHappiness Sold SeparatelyHappy FamilyHappy Mutant Baby PillsHappy Now?HarleyHarry Potter and the Sorcererís StoneHeartbeatHeftHell's IslandHey, Wait...High HeatHolidays On IceHope in a JarHot MilkHotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel WorldHotels of North AmericaHouse of JavaHow a Gunman Says GoodbyeHow People ChangeHow to Be GoodHow to Set a Fire and WhyHug MeI Can See YouI Don't Know How She Does ItI'd Know You AnywhereIf I Fall, If I DieIf You StayImagine Me GoneImposter for HireIn ZanesvilleInfinite JestIngloriousInnocentInnocent WorldInnocentsInspired SleepInvisibleIronshoreIs This What Other Women Feel Too?It Takes OneIt's Love We Don't UnderstandIt's Not Me, It's YouJacob Have I LovedJimmy CorriganJohn Dies at the 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CrossMiddlesexMischlingMisfortuneMissing PresumedMoby DickMomma and the Meaning of LifeMonsterMonths and SeasonsMr. CommitmentMrs. DallowayMunich AirportMurder BookMurder in ByzantiumMurder in the InnMusic for TorchingMy AbandonmentMy Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me UpMy Life with CorpsesMy Name Is RedMy Sister's KeeperMystery Time StoriesNasty, Short and BrutalNecessary NoiseNelson Mandela's Favorite African FolktalesNemesisNeuroticaNever Fade AwayNever Let Me GoNew Australian StoriesNight FilmNina: AdolescenceNo One Can Pronounce My NameNo Place to HideNone of the AboveNorth of BeautifulNothing RightNovel About My WifeObjects of My AffectionObservatory MansionsOdd HoursOddsOld SchoolOn Chesil BeachOn the CouchOnce You Go BackOne Flew Over The Cuckoo's NestOne Good TurnOne More WednesdayOne Pill Makes You SmallerOptic Nerve #11Our Souls at NightOver Tumbled GravesPaint It BlackPanicParadiseParadise LodgeParanoiaParty GirlPeculiaPerfect LivesPharmakonPhobicPianoPictures of 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ManThe Undertaker's WifeThe Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector ChopraThe Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia MossThe UnnamedThe UnquietThe Unseen WorldThe Usual MistakesThe Vanishing Act of Esme LennoxThe VegetarianThe Virgin BlueThe Virgin CureThe Water ChildrenThe WaveThe Weed That Strings the Hangman's BagThe Whole TruthThe Wide WindowThe Wild Assís SkinThe Woman and the ApeThe Woman UpstairsThe Wrong Side of GoodbyeThe Year of the FloodThe Year That FollowsTherapyThere Are No EldersThings You Should KnowThinks...Third Class SuperheroThirty NothingThis Beautiful LifeThis Body of DeathThose GirlsThose Who Wish Me DeadThumbsuckerTimothy Tunny Swallowed a BunnyTina's MouthTiny DeathsTisToby's RoomTony & SusanToo Much HappinessTooth and NailTouchTouching Spirit BearTouchy SubjectsTrailer GirlTransparencyTraumaTreacherous LoveTrespassTriburbiaTucker PeakTuringTwentieth Century EightballTwinmakerTwo Can PlayTwo Little Girls in BlueUnaccustomed EarthUnder Rose-Tainted SkiesUnder the DamUnder 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Notes on a ScandalWhat We Don't Know About ChildrenWhat's So Terrible About Swallowing an Apple Seed?When We Were AnimalsWhen We Were OrphansWhere We LivedWhite HotWhy Did I EverWidowWild AwakeWild ChildWill@epicqwest.comWillful CreaturesWitWithout TessWolf in White VanWomen's Murder Club Box SetYou or Someone Like YouYou Should Have KnownYou Will Know MeYour Body is ChangingYour Heart Belongs to MeZapZap
This book is a collection of ten fiction stories.
Although the cover looks amateurish, the writing is fresh and creative. The
stories are set in Baltimore, and the characters are all black or half-black
(the photo of Nesbitt on the book jacket shows that he is also black). They are
very real, down-to-earth characters who live what might be described as the
fringe of American society.
My favorite story is the one about a father and son,
"What Good is You Anyway?" Although the specific details of the story
are interesting, it is the almost universal theme about the difficulties of
relationships between fathers and sons that Nesbitt so wonderfully captures. In
this as in all his stories, the telling is funny and fresh.
In this story, the father and adult son live
together. The father is rather uneducated, an alcoholic, unemployed ex-convict
with so many drunk driving charges he has no license. But he is trying to be a
father in the only way he knows how. The way the son sees it, "they don't
have much to say to each other and never live up to each other's
expectations." The son is the narrator in the story. He points out that
his father is missing a leg, which gives him a reason to use metal crutches. To
the son, the use of metallic crutches speaks of "disease ...
permanence." The implication is that, for the son, this is an
The story is about two men, but he writes in a
universal language that I relate to. Even though I am not a man, much of the
story reminds me of my own relationship with my father. For instance, his
father says, "Go get me something." Notice nothing in particular is
being requested, just an order being given. My father, too, liked to give his
children orders to wait on him. The father in this story uses his leg as an
excuse, but the fact that he says "something," rather than a specific
article suggests this is one of the ways he knows to relate to his son, albeit not
the best of ways, but a way. The reader with a similar father may give pause
here and wonder if that was how their own father was trying to be in
relationship with their child.
Their other interactions reflect this as well. At
one point the son notes that his father is about to give him advice, and then
sites several rather pathetic attempts at how he does that. For instance, the
father tells the son, "Don't do what I did."
remember." The father is an alcoholic. He is trying to give some advice
and as can be seen here, this is the best he can do, under the circumstances.
conversation. The son says, "I'm not stupid."
you do stupid things."
The son thinks to himself, 'every now and then he
had a good point.' I found that funny. In fact, much of the way he presents a
rather sad story is humorous. He describes someone who is allergic to pollen,
as acting like had "swallowed a cat." Another example of humor is
when he explains that his mother left him with his father, and that he is
black, I'm half, but that's his fault 'cause his wife's white. Was white. I
mean ex-wife. Mom's still
These may not be laugh out loud kinds of humorous
exchanges, but to me, irony and sarcasm, when done well, can be very funny. And
it is his humor that most draws me to this writer. The stories are short, but
it is a sign of a great writer that he can tell the story with brevity.
(Otherwise it's a long story).
I would recommend this book to all men, not just
young, or black, or any other specific demographic detail, and I would also
recommend it to women. Usually I prefer not to read books by men, simply
because I often find that they lack character depth that I prefer, especially
when describing women. In the case of Nesbitt, I found an exception to my rule.
© 2003 Patricia Ferguson
Dr. Patricia Ferguson
is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of California, a freelance
writer and editor, and an artist. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from San Diego
State University and received her doctorate from Nova Southeastern University.
Her publications include research on rape in the Journal of Interpersonal
Violence, several articles on nuclear medicine for nuclear medicine
technologists, and an article on group therapy in The Reader's Guide to Social
Sciences. She currently writes book reviews for several venues, has a chapter
in "Girl Wars: Twelve Tried and True Strategies for Overcoming Female
Bullying," (Fireside, 2003), and is an Editor-in-Chief for Apollo's Lyre, an online
magazine for writers. She is also working on a book of memoirs.