My “Dark” Story: Blame Shakespeare


(Shakespeare’s Statue, Central Park, NYC)

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from folks who’ve read Trout Kill (see Amazon reviews), and one frequent word I hear from them is the story is “dark.” I think readers mean that Eddy’s outlook on life is relatively bleak, his situation is precarious, he’s haunted by the past, and he’s not too adept at extricating himself from problems that he himself creates. Granted. Is my own outlook on life so bleak? No. Actually, I’m an optimist, at heart. However, I am personally attracted to “dark” stories because, in part, I taught them in high school for many years, and they generally deal with “serious” themes … and I’m a “serious” guy (Seriously!). At Canby High, I taught the classic Shakespearean tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Hamlet. I enjoyed everyone of them. (To hell with my students: It’s all about me!) So, I guess Shakespeare rubbed off on me, and he’s partly to blame for Eddy Trout’s dismal “darkness.”

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