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The Bathtub Spy
on October 3, 2011
Paul Tregwynt spends many of his hours off in the bathtub reading. By day he's a translator of wiretaps at an intelligence agency in Washington, D.C. and by night he's a reader. His boss, Wayne, takes advantage of his own job and plays games on the computer and generally doesn't do a whole lot. He hasn't given Paul the tapes that he needs to translate and transcribe, despite being asked for them several times. Paul seemed more content when he was a translator abroad than he is now that he's back in the U.S.
Paul has been brushing up on his French by reading stories in French, but his boss, Wayne, finds out and starts bringing him Russian novels with the curt and abrupt order to "read this." Paul reads them and likes them, but he resents this intrusion into his literary life.
This is a very good story, but I keep thinking that maybe I missed something. Paul and Wayne do have something in common and I think Wayne likes Paul more than Paul thinks he does, but the story has an overall bleak feeling to it. Paul made a few decisions at the end that might bring a little more hope to him for a happier life, but I'm not sure he wants a whole lot more than he has. Sometimes we think we know what's better for another person when what that person wants isn't what we want for them. I also think there were some misunderstandings, too, as in the Starbucks co-worker's perception of Paul's intentions. There just didn't seem to be a good wrap-up of an ending.
This Kindle short kept my interest all the way through, and despite my questions it is a well-written piece. I haven't read anything else by this author, but I'd like to read his book that other reviewers have mentioned.