Monday, May 14, 2012
Feel For America, by Derek Hayes
Feel For America is the first story in Derek Hayes' collection, The Maladjusted, which I received for review. Conveniently, Feel For America is available to read on his website. So I though it would be a good story for this week's Short Story Monday.
I'm not sure what I thought of the story. It was well written, easy to read with good/interesting character development. The narrator, John is one of three ex-patriots teaching at an English school in Taiwan. John is from Toronto, his a-hole roommate and "Academic Director", Adam, is from England and new arrival Samuel is from America. Mr. Hou, the school's owner, likes John and equates him and Samuel. He doesn't like the teachers he gets from England.
The story is about the three men and how they react to and interact with each other. Adam sets out to have conflict. John is a bit of a pushover and strives to be a peacekeeper. He also really likes his job. Samuel is full of ideas as to what this experience is supposed to be like. I just wanted to yell at him when he was speaking gibberish to that poor man on the street. There were better ways to deal with it. I don't know if overseas is where these men belong. Of course the collection is called, The Maladjusted, so we will just have to see if strange people in strange situations is a theme.
Adam asks Samuel for a Feel For America. What we end up with is a drunken football player, essentially. More than that, he's a man who is far from home and I think he misses it. Feel For America is a good story and I hope the rest of the collection is as interesting.
Short Story Monday is hosted by John Mutford at The Book Mine Set.