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2014 Story 60

From Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers:

60. ONLY LOST BOYS ARE FOUND by Steve Berman   The story that closes Berman's latest collection is one of the few (along with "Thimbleriggery and Fledglings") that actually reads like a fairy tale. It has that certain lack of detail that makes the reader think this could be happening anywhere, to anyone, even though the start of it is set firmly in this world, in this time. It's got a bit of Narnia about it, a bit of Neverland, a bit of the classic comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, although the main character is a high school freshman rather than a small child, and he journeys through a realm of closet doors, rather than a wardrobe, to find his missing boyfriend at the bequest of the boyfriend's brutishly homophobic older brother.  The story plays out some interesting imagery, pulling themes (intentionally or not) from the collection's earlier stories. What threw me out of really connecting with this story, though (and this is, I admit, a totally personal bias) was the Direct Address to the Reader format of the story. I just have a hard time being told I am the character I'm reading about, and very rarely does this type of story succeed for me. However, if that type of narration doesn't bother you, you'll really enjoy this story.

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