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Corpus Christi: Stories Paperback – June 14, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
The 10 stories in the piece, all located in or near Corpus Christi, Texas, are:
1. Waterwalkers - 31 pp - My favorite story in the collection. While a hurricane is bearing down on Corpus Christi, a man runs into his ex-wife in a hardware store. They haven't seen each other in years, since they separated and divorced after the death of their son. The story is filled with evidence of why they had the original connection, and how it got marred by the pain of losing their child.
2. I See Something You Don't See - 29 pp - The first in a trilogy of stories about a son who's had to take time off from his teaching job and post-graduate studies in order to move back to Texas to take care of his mother who is dying from cancer. Here his mother is hopeful that she still has some time to enjoy life, but when the son learns her cancer has actually taken a turn for the worse, he keeps the news from her for a while and is wracked with guilt about keeping a secret he knows will shatter all her newfound hope.
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Thank the muses!
If you love the short story as an art form, buy this book! You won't be disappointed.
Sumptuously written with dialogue and detail that remind you of the beauty that is life. There are no "heroes" among these characters and stories...just people who bravely face their surroundings, not just physical (the inevitable hurricane) but emotional as well. There is loss. There is regret. There is everything that memory assails us with; but these stories also tell of what memory rewards us with. This may not be a book for the faint-hearted, for these characters are certainly not. They face their shining moments and imperfections with a grace and courage that makes you glad to know their stories.
The first story, ‘Waterwalkers’, is about a man reuniting with his ex-wife several years after the sudden death of their only son. As the two prepare to brave an impending hurricane, they are forced to stay together overnight and reflect on the past. The violent storm serves as a physical representation, a displacement, of the inner turmoil both characters face when bringing up memories of the past. Only after they reconcile and rekindle their relationship does the weather outside abate.
Three of the ten stories, powerful on their own, connect to form a longer narrative. Part one, ‘I see Something You Don’t See’, introduces a young man named Lee and his dying mother, Minnie. Lee is first to hear about his mother’s terminal cancer and struggles with whether or not he should tell her or let Minnie live out the remainder of her days in blissful ignorance. The first is told from both of their viewpoints while the second focuses on Minnie’s relationship with her late husband and the third more heavily follows Lee dealing with his mother’s passing. Each character is shown strongest not in their interactions with each other but in how they think of and remember one another in their memories. Scenes in the present are accompanied by those from the past, contrasting who they were with who they’ve become. Lee, especially, goes through enough of a change to warrant his own novella. Johnston writes all his characters with genuine craft and emotion, organically revealing their intricacies.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So far out talented, it's like a gift to readers. Wish there was more in print by this superior author.Published on June 19, 2014 by WadeH
A nice introduction to this writer's style. I look forward to his novel which will come out in 2014. Thanks1Published on May 9, 2014 by Kenso
The writing is well executed but the plots seem a bit repetitive and even hum drum at times. I couldn't finish it.Published on September 2, 2013 by Rocky Mountain Reader
Bret Anthony Johnston's "Corpus Christi: Stories" is a lighthouse of literary fiction, beckoning readers to see life in a new way. Read morePublished on May 21, 2009 by Carol Owens Campbell
I liked it--a book of literary stories anchored around the town of Corpus Christi. By the end of the book all the stories fit together and gave it the feel of a novel. Read morePublished on May 13, 2007 by Candace Simar
The book was well-written and read quickly, but the stories themselves were a bit on the depressing side, and many had the same theme: man and woman meet, fall in love, have kid,... Read morePublished on March 24, 2007 by Michael Dippery
Bret Johnston's debut collection of fiction signals the arrival of a master storyteller. These are glimpses of lives in a minor key, as his characters struggle to continue in the... Read morePublished on March 9, 2005 by Late NIght Reviews