Saturday, March 28, 2009

What's Romanian for "Great Story"?

The Carpathian Shadows Volume II is a collection of short stories set at Lord Erdely's Castle in Transylvania. A group of travelers, most of them strangers to one another, end up stranded at this "tourist trap" for a few nights. Each story in the collection offers a different point-of-view character, or set of characters.

Seana Graham wrote "The Scholar," a story that follows a textual scholar, his wife, and a Romanian friend/colleague on their outing to the castle. Ostensibly, the story is about the scholar, Howard Green, and his quest for information to further his research on the area. But as the story unfolds, Seana deftly spins a yarn that is both unpredictable and very enjoyable. Disguised as a horror story, "The Scholar" is every bit as much an exploration of love and marriage. I won't say more because I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

I have yet to read any of the other stories in the collection, but I do highly recommend it based solely on Seana's contribution. Seana takes everything that's good about old-fashioned storytelling and adds to it her own acute sense of observation when it comes to her protagonist, Howard:

"After all, unlike him, she was actually on vacation. Must be nice, he thought begrudgingly, conveniently forgetting that it was his project that had been the catalyst for this trip."

As many of you know, Seana is a prolific blogger, who is somehow able to manage four of her own blogs while still frequently contributing to many other blogs as well. She works for a bookseller at a large independent store in Santa Cruz, CA.


seanag said...

Brian, what a nice surprise. I really appreciate the nod and the perceptive comments.

My sister is doing fine, by the way. Thank you for your thoughts.

I have 'Unearthed' on my computer so should be able to finish it on this trip. It hasn't been for lack of interest, believe me!

Brian O'Rourke said...

Hey Seana,

I'm so glad to hear your sister is doing well. That's great news!

And now you see how backed up with my reading I am--you sent me your story a month ago and I only just go to it yesterday! I really do need to quit my job. I wouldn't be able to pay the mortgage, buy food, etc., but hey, libraries are free so I'd get to read all the time.

And I'm not sure if I told you, but in case I haven't: the ending of The Unearthed is not for the faint of heart. Consider yourself duly warned ;)

Brian O'Rourke said...


I'd also love to hear more about how this collection of stories came together. You and I discussed it before, but I did find the process to be interesting.