Ten days left until Christmas, I repeat, ten days left until Christmas.

Unfortunately, at least this year, I have procrastinated hard on my Christmas shopping and am therefore spending every waking moment this weekend in a mall until its done, ugh.

My saving grace is that every day I can look forward to escaping said mall and coming home to another story.

What did day fifteen of the Short Story Advent Calendar have to offer? Keep on reading for my thoughts and opinions.

DAY 15: 

The Journal by Ken Liu

First Appeared: Fireside (September 201

Print Length: 11 pages

The Review

This was one of the strangest short stories that has been included in the calendar thus far.

The Journal follows Laurie as she suddenly discovers she is unable to read the written word. At first, her husband and son chalk it up to stress, but as the 11 page story continues the reader, at least me anyways, was left wondering if Laurie is  just loosing her mind.

I’ll give one thing to Liu, his descriptions of Laurie experiencing the words leaving the page are both imaginative and breathtaking. Comparing words to everything from sharks and minnows to frogs and monsters really put my imagination into overdrive.

Unfortunately I think I might have missed the symbolism Liu was trying to get at. As I was reading I couldn’t help but think, at least at first, that maybe Laurie was displaying a learning disability, but at the end of the story, when she finally has her husband’s journal in hand the words stop moving and she is able to read again. My other thought was she was unable to read due to her crippling insecurities and once she was able to see that her husband also felt inadequate her mind was put at ease.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

_ _ _

Purchase Links for Short Story Advent Calendar

Hingston and Olsen 


One Comment

  1. midnightamythest

    This was waaaaaaaayyyy out in left field, I was sorta hoping for a first Christmasy story cause of the deep red colour of the cover, but I was disappointed. My first thought was, ‘Wasn’t there an episode on HOUSE that had someone who suddenly couldn’t read, and it was due to some swelling or bleeding in the brain?’ Totally thought this was going to end in some tragedy of her dying or miraculously being saved, especially when she started getting worse hallucinations. I was totally wrong. I didn’t get what the story was going for, but it was indeed wonderfully descriptive. It was sorta sweet to know that her husband was feeling the same way she was, and that I guess it was saying that you should try to communicate more with your partner and not keep things bottled up.
    2.5 stars.


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