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Golden: A Short Story [Kindle Edition]

James Scott Bell
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A game of catch between father and son brings back a memory that will change both their lives.

Editorial Reviews


"Bell quickly made me care. He does it by using all the craft available to him. Within the first paragraph I've learned a lot about the character...Look how much information he packs into the story -- and not just information, but attitude, character background, exposition, the whole shebang." -

From the Author

This story is different from my other work. It's not a genre piece. Let me explain.
I admire great short-story writers, because the form is so challenging. Among my favorites are Hemingway, Saroyan, Irwin Shaw and John D. MacDonald.
The latter author is not usually thought of as a short-story writer. He's best known for his brilliant Travis McGee series.
But I contend that MacDonald was one of America's great literary talents. That he chose pulp and paperback originals for most of his work had to do with his need to make a living as a writer, and fast, after World War II.
I have an extensive MacDonald collection. One day I pulled off the shelf his volume of literary-style short stories, The End of the Tiger. I turned to a story I'd not read before, "The Bear Trap." A man is on a road trip with his wife and children. When they stop at an isolated gas station a seemingly innocuous event triggers a memory in the man. His "shattering moment" comes back to invade his present. It tells us about who this man really is and, in the way of great short stories, something about ourselves.
It reminded me, once again, that a great short story can have an emotional resonance as powerful as a novel. I still remember the strong emotions I felt after finishing stories like "Hills Like White Elephants" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" (Hemingway); "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" and "A Word to Scoffers" (Saroyan); "The Girls in Their Summer Dresses" and "The 80-Yard Run" (Irwin Shaw); "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" (Joyce Carol Oates); "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?" (Raymond Carver).
And speaking of Carver, many of you know I got to be in a workshop with him when he taught for a time at U.C. Santa Barbara. What I recall most is that I couldn't do what he did. Or what some of the "star students" in the class were doing. And no one was able to teach me. I felt like a failure, like I didn't have any true literary talent at all.
It took me years to discover you could actually learn the craft. I've also written about how I came out of the movie Moonstruck wanting (needing, really) to write something that would make others feel the way I felt just then.
A similar feeling overtook me when I finished the MacDonald story. 
So I wrote "Golden." 

Product Details

  • File Size: 150 KB
  • Print Length: 7 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Compendium Press (March 19, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J4Z61ZU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,065 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JSB-+ March 23, 2014
By Emma B.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
James Scott Bell's ability to write a telling story in seven pages cannot be surpassed. Straight to the heart story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Golden Story March 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely and loving story of a parent and child. Having been a single parent this was special to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden is everything a short story should be. March 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Golden resonated with me. It's everything a short story should be, and the emotional kicker was something I shall remember for a long time. Well done, Mr. Bell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons March 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a painful but honest short story about regret and parental responsibility.

Sometimes, if we are lucky, we come to hold ourselves responsible for an act of cruelty. I realize that this doesn't sound like luck but bear with me. Many people will admit that kids can be cruel but at the same time dismiss most cruelty as "kids being kids". It is all too rare for a child to truly internalize an act of cruelty they commit against someone else and feel enough shame to not let it happen again. Many times it remains hidden deep within but not forgotten. We don't take it out for others to see but it never goes away. It's a hard lesson but, strangely enough, it makes us better people.

There is one thing that is pretty much guaranteed to bring it rushing to the surface, and that is seeing our own child behave in a similar way. At that time we have choices to make. We can ignore it, we can be superficial, or we can make it a lesson that will stay with our child in the hope that they won't act in such a way that they have to live with the type of regret that we have. Not an easy decision- but certainly necessary.

This author brings this point home in a quietly devastating way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's just okay March 23, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of the short story format, especially when it succeeds in packing an emotional punch within the confines of the format. This was an okay story, but it didn't quite do it for me. I wasn't left with a tingle or a desire for more. There was something synthetic about the voice of the narrator that left me with little satisfaction and no emotional connection. I read this as a tale of redemption, but I'm not quite sure I bought into it. Having said that, I am a big fan of Mr. Bell's overall body of work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A life lesson in short form. Great read. October 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From the writing standpoint, I've always found crafting a short story to be a mystery. I just can't seem to wrap my head around the concept of writing a story--short--packing all the characterization, emotion, and message into a limited number of pages. This short was very engaging and a perfect lesson in short story writing. A treat to read (and study for craft as well).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Short but powerful May 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This short story stayed with me for days. Simple story that many parents will easily identify with. I read JSB's short stories and novellas the moment they come out. I'm never disappointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars GOLDEN May 26, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Speaking as one who suffered many humiliations as I was growing up, this story was close to home. But suffering made me a better person. I would rather be a woman of character than to be with the "in crowd." Thank you JAMES SCOTT BELL for yet another excellent story. Your comedy writing cracks me up,too!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful
As always, Bell delivers. Golden levers a punch to your rib cage that goes straight through and enters into the middle of your heart.

The short story form is classic. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jody
5.0 out of 5 stars A Father's Gift to His Son
Poignant story of a father passing on to a son the ideas of respect and caring for those who are different than us.
Published 8 months ago by Henry Mclaughlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Short Story!
As a novice, I sometimes have trouble conveying all of the information I intend in just a few short pages. I really have to work on that. It is easy to see why Mr. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Rebecca Vance
5.0 out of 5 stars good story
I really enjoyed reading the short story. It was interesting and well-written. I just wish it had been a little longer!
Published 8 months ago by K Leigh
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching short story
A short story that does what one is supposed to do--It touches you on the inside and makes you think.
Published 8 months ago by Linda R
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Says So Much in So Few Words
Golden gives a snippet from a father's life and tells how a mistake he made touched his heart and his conscience. He regretted it then, and he regrets it today. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Gail Pallotta
5.0 out of 5 stars Helen
Good short story (quite short) about a father/son relationship. Mistakes do not need to continue from one generation to the next. Inspirational and example for families today.
Published 9 months ago by Helen I. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Its Gold
When I read a work of fiction from someone who teaches craft, I have high expectations. James Scott Bell has coached my own writing through his books such as "Revision and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Regrets
I'm a fan of short stories and read as many as I can. This is a story of regret about the choices we make when young that can come back to haunt us as we grow older. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marvin Allan Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not crying. I have, ummm . . . something in my eye. Yeah.
A poignant and timely tale of a father aiming to make sure that his son doesn't repeat the mistakes of the past.
Published 9 months ago by Feniks9174
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More About the Author

For notifications and deals about JSB's new releases, sign up for his occasional update at (the signup box is on the left side of the screen). Your mail box will never be overstuffed nor will your address be shared with anyone else.

JAMES SCOTT BELL is a bestselling and award winning suspense writer, and one of the top writing coaches in the country. He writes in both the traditional and indie publishing realms. Writing as K. Bennett, he is the author of the Mallory Caine, Zombie-at-Law series, which begins with PAY ME IN FLESH. In 2012 he became the first writer to have a self published work nominated for the prestigious International Thriller Writers Award (for the novella ONE MORE LIE). He was the fiction columnist for Writer's Digest magazine and has written four popular books for the Writers Digest line: Plot & Structure, Revision & Self-Editing, The Art of War for Writers and Conflict & Suspense. Jim taught novel writing at Pepperdine University and continues to teach at numerous writers conferences in the United States, Canada, London, Australia, and New Zealand. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver. He lives and writes in L.A. He blogs weekly at Kill Zone --

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