By: Victor A. Davis
Genre: Fiction, Short Story
(SHORT STORY) When Edgar challenges his friend Arainy to sneak into the candy factory and steal sweets, she resists, even though she desperately wants to prove herself. She knows the risks. She knows the Candy Man has caught Eddie before, but intrigue gets the better of her. This is not a children's bedtime story. It is a dark retelling of Peter Rabbit.
Note from the author: For years I've been keeping a dream journal. First, I've heard that writing down your dreams encourages them to come more clearly and frequently. Second, I've always hoped that out of all the nonsense, an occasional gem can be found. On January 2nd, 2012, I woke up and scribbled a disturbing dream down in my journal. Months later, it formed the basis for this short story.
I went into the pages of this book not really knowing what to expect. "Gingerbread," I thought, "hm, maybe Christmas.... you know, the Gingerbread Man?"
I'm not really one for short stories. I've only reviewed one other on the blog (you can see it here), and even then I didn't really know what to expect. My whole thing is "The bigger the book, the better." and small books...really don't appeal to me.I don't know for sure, but I think it may be because I'm someone who gets emotionally attached to characters, and a short story would be just enough to get me attached, and then they'd be gone...or even worse; I would feel no emotional conection to the characters.
I can honestly say that this short story exceeded my measly expectations. It was extremely well written. The author did a very good job at describing the physical conditions of the main characters, but I feel as though the scenic descriptions were a bit lacking. While this could be good, for those of us with very active imaginations, it wasn't so good for me. In my case, yes, I do have a decent imagination, but when I read a book it's like a movie playing in my head. One little thing...like a door being on a different side of the room than I pictured, completely throws me off and, suddenly, the book is just words on a page. That happened to me a lot with Gingerbread. And I can honestly say that it disappointed me slightly. However, that didn't, in any way, take away from the story.
Gingerbread had a very Tom Sawyer-type vibe about it. The way it was written made me think of the classic books you read when you're young and just dipping your toes into the world of literature. I don't know exactly what it was, maybe just the way it was written, and how the characters spoke..as well as the adventure Eddie and Arainy went on. It was very Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry-Finn-like.
With the author's amazing physical descriptions, the alarming brutality honestly caught me off guard. There were definitely some cringe worthy moments, more enhanced because he left it totally to your imagination...and I pictured the worst. The ending did very much catch me off guard...mostly because the ending wasn't really an ending...he more-or-less just...ended the book.......if that makes ANY sense. However, it, again, left this up to your imagination..which, if read at night, with great contribute to your dreams....Yes, I know from experience.
My advice to you, in the event that you pick up Gingerbread: Don't let the story-book title fool you...this is a fairy-tale story that nightmares are made of...If you do decide to pick up Gingerbread, you need to go into it with a fully open mind. Drop all of your expectation, and just let the story run with you....and run it will.
If you like the grim, and the dark, pick up Gingerbread.
Q1. What was your inspiration for Gingerbread?
A1. I keep a dream journal primarily for mining story ideas. On January 1st, 2012, this story quite literally came to me in a dream (half-baked, of course). I immediately scribbled out some notes, and started turning it over in my head, thinking I'd call it "gingerbread" because of the parallels to Hansel & Gretel. Several months later, I finished writing & rewriting it, and I love the result.
Q2. Based on the ending, I'm hoping there will be a sequel.....Will there be?
A2. No sequel. Each of my stories are universes unto themselves. The end is the end.
Q3. What was the most difficult part about writing Gingerbread, and how did you get past it?
A3. I hesitate to say, but this was the easiest story I've ever written. I could answer that question about virtually any other of my stories because, yes, there are always obstacles requiring some kind of breakthrough. Gingerbread is one of the rare examples of a story where I did not struggle, when my muse stayed in my ear the whole time and every scene came to me with perfect clarity. I think it's perhaps because it came as a dream. Perhaps because the story arose directly from the unconscious, my conscious mind had no trouble pulling meaning and clarity out of the plot. With most stories, whether we like it or not, it's our conscious minds which crack up a story, and it takes a lot of struggle and concentration and inward exploration to draw meaning from those deeper emotional symbols.
We'll be going into hyper-drive until we've read every single book sent in via review request; no pleasure reading for us...well.....all reading is pleasure reading, unless you're reading a math book.. Anyways, I sincerely hope you guys enjoyed this review.
Until next time; keep your noses in the book! I'll blog you later, lovelies!
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