Monday, February 28, 2011

Inside Frank - Catherine Knutsson **Shroud #1**

Here is a review of Catherine Knutsson's story, "Inside Frank." This will be the second story we have discussed on this blog.

First, it opened with a very strong line: "Frank sat on the floor, listening to the children inside."

Wow! This sends a whole mess of thoughts into your brain, doesn't it? It caught me in thought right away, like the other story did. Soon, we discover that this means more than just one thing.

Catherine does a great job of waging a huge internal debate and war inside of poor Frank, a little boy who we can only assume is Frankenstein. The child is going through so much, as you would expect and can only imagine.

The different body parts of Frank all serve to have various voices. Are they real? Does the soul live on with the parts that are assembled to create a small kid? Do the parents see the child as a person, or as another toy that they are creating? Does he have a soul, or is he more like Legos fit together to make a pleasing replica of something that it only resembles?

The questions are all asked. To find out what is answered, you would have to read. But the boy begins to question his 'parent's' motives. The parents can exchange the body parts that don't work properly, and have a host of children and people to use for replacements. Moral questions begin to flood the kid.

What follows is a great ride. It is very short, and I could see it being a novella easily, but it is a really good read. I'll be looking up some of her work.

I can say, out of the two stories I have read so far, I thought Tom's writing flowed a little more naturally. But Catherine does some great stuff with her writing and she is highly imaginative. I'm impressed that Shroud will put an author of Tom's stature (many, many books) in with an author who is relatively unknown (She was an editor for Shimmer magazine when this article was first published, without any credited books under her belt).

Great story. Shroud Magazine continues to impress.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Beesler said...

It definitely helps when a magazine is willing to put a new author in the same issue as one more established.