review

SMEE – A.M. BURRAGE

Smee: A Short StorySmee: A Short Story by A.M. Burrage
My rating: 4/5 cats
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WELCOME TO DECEMBER PROJECT!

boilerplate mission statement intro:

for the past two years, i’ve set december’s project aside to do my own version of a short story advent calendar. it’s not a true advent calendar since i choose all the stories myself, but what it lacks in the ‘element of surprise’ department it more than makes up for in hassle, as i try to cram even MORE reading into a life already overcrammed with impossible personal goals (live up to your potential! find meaningful work! learn to knit!) merry merry wheee!

since i am already well behind in my *regular* reviewing, when it comes to these stories, whatever i poop out as far as reflections or impressions are going to be superficial and perfunctory at best. please do not weep for the great big hole my absented, much-vaunted critical insights are gonna leave in these daily review-spaces (and your hearts); i’ll try to drop shiny insights elsewhere in other reviews, and here, i will at least drop links to where you can read the stories yourselves for free, which – let’s be honest – is gonna serve you better anyway.

HAPPY READING, BOOKNERDS!!

links to all stories read in previous years’ calendars can be found at the end of these reviews, in case you are a person who likes to read stories for free:

2016: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…
2017: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

scroll down for links to this year’s stories which i will update as we go, and if you have any suggestions, send ’em my way! the only rules are: it must be available free online (links greatly appreciated), and it must be here on gr as its own thing so i can review it. thank you in advance!

DECEMBER 17

I wonder if any of you have ever played a game called “Smee”.

again, it’s a little churlish to, in 2018, call a ghost story written in 1927 “predictable.” (stage whisper – even if it is) still, it’s a good ‘un, and would probably be goosebump-making if read aloud under the right circumstances, say, a haunted hayride, slumber party, or ‘round the fire in the darkened drawing room of a big old house. the kind of house bougie enough to have a drawing room. funnily enough, this is the same author whose story One Who Saw was the first of the eleven books in seth’s ghost stories for christmas series that i read. wait, that’s not the funny part. the funny part is that One Who Saw has NOTHING to do with christmas, but this one DOES. (pause for laughter)

even though you know what’s going to happen because the narrator more or less gives away the ending in his opening statements, and additionally because this particular lead-and-reveal has become, since 1927, very common in ghostie stories, there’s a pretty wince-y womp womp style ending in which you can almost see burrage’s 1927 eyebrows doing that “didn’t see that coming, didja??” thing before cutting off abruptly, presumably for maximum spookage.

in any event, i liked it more than One Who Saw, and it reminded me of another very enjoyable short story about party games gone wrong – graham greene’s The End of the Party, which you should also check out. for now,

read it for yourself here:

http://www.scaryforkids.com/smee/

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