THE GEORGE SAUNDERS VERSUS NICK GALLUP READING CHALLENGE!
(FOR INFORMATION on our Reading Challenge and how to participate, read this.)
The first reader to bravely pick up the thrown gauntlet and offer a review of the two short stories is William Rushing. His review:
“Apollo Creed vs. Rocky Balboa“
by William Rushing
The dialogue from the dinner scene in “Just Another Love Song” was its high point. Two characters meeting and flirting with each other for the first time. Parrying each other’s attempts at a clever line.
Somehow Roxy ordering the Porterhouse seemed less believable to me than all the fantasy Ghoul World stuff that was in “Ghoul.”
“Ghoul” had the natural born talent and skill. Its pretentious, yes, but I enjoyed it. It was stylish, and when Amy and Brian laid close to one another in their sleeping slot trying to find a way to forget or otherwise rationalize their betrayals for a life that they had dreamed of, I couldn’t help but relate.
Rocky was a one dimensional fighter with a lot of guts, but Apollo had special effects.
“Ghoul” matched the dullness of learning about how and why Ty got a Corvette for a great bargain with an unsual underground world of disenfranchised ghouls that begin to learn important things that seemingly flip their dreadful world upside down while they struggle to balance trust, honesty, and loyalty. All while trying to keep from being kicked and stomped to death by a mob of their peers.
Ironically, “Ghoul’s” characters seemed more relatable and human to me. Conversely, Ty seemed like he managed his life very well, but I see people like that every day. They appear like they have it together on the outside – they don’t interest me as much as those that are openly flawed. Had he been scared when flying the plane in Cleveland? Had he felt a twinge of superiority when he met Roxy for the second time? DId he ask himelf if he was being honest with himself when he donated his $1,000 fee for the hot shot flight to the parents of the baby he helped save? At the time he “didn’t know what came over” him, but surely he’s sorted it out by now.
A successful boxer presents angles, feints, superior timing when they neutralize a puncher. I can’t help but thinking that “Ghoul” was more successful in this instance.
Do we strongly disagree with this assessment? Maybe!
But what do you think– about the review and the two stories? Is William Rushing on the mark– or not?