Last week I started reading the stories in Poachers by Tom Franklin. He’s been a favorite author of mine for several years now. I just love the combination of moodiness and imagery that he can convey with words. Even when the story itself is raw and brutal, the way he writes can make it beautiful.

Today I’m talking about two more stories from this collection


Shubuta and Triathlon by Tom Franklin
Part of the Collection Poachers
Published: 1999

In Shubuta, Franklin uses that town in Mississippi as a background for a story of love gone wrong. The storyteller’s girlfriend has left him. His uncle is dying but still carries pain from the woman he loved and quickly lost many years ago. The story includes many other examples of lost love and the pain it causes.

It’s a mournful story with incredible images and feelings expertly written. The occasional touches of wit make it real.

Triathlon is a story of a man and how he ended up in a doomed marriage. His failed attempts to settle down are derailed by his friend Bruce, who never will settle down. Bruce blows through his life just often enough to stir up trouble. Their escapes from the pressures of expectations are some of their brightest and most memorable moments.

Tom Franklin writes stories that are not easily summed up but contain the kind of images and feelings that linger long after you stop reading.

Short Story Mondays is hosted by John at The Book Mine Set.