Second Death of E.A. Poe and Other Stories

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In Second Death of E.A. Poe and Other Stories, Jack Matthews writes ten unique short stories, all wonderfully worthwhile and enjoyable. My personal favorite stories were “Trophy for an Earnest Boy”, “The Second Death of E.A. Poe”, and “A Story Not About Richardson”. All adult readers could find a tale that suits them in this collection.

“Trophy for an Earnest Boy” focuses on a young college student named Laramie. Laramie is the second-string guard on his fraternity’s football team, who just lost devastatingly at their homecoming game. Unluckily for all of the boys, the homecoming game is very important for the fraternity; the “Most Valuable Player” trophy is awarded every year after this game, but after such an embarrassment, one would feel ashamed to receive it. However, as fraternity secretary Floyd points out, someone has to receive the prize. Floyd, along with the other chairman, feel they owe it to their “Fathers”, but the members of the team point-blank refuse to accept the prize. Laramie and Floyd must work together to find someone to take the trophy, a seemingly impossible task after the humiliation of the game.

“The Second Death of E.A. Poe” was refreshingly creative. Told from the perspective of Dr. James Wilkinson, a physician and close friend of Edgar Allen Poe, this story had all kinds of interesting spins on it I did not anticipate coming. Dr. Wilkinson administers at the Washington Hospital University along with his colleague, Dr. Moran. These men are responsible for caring for Mr. Poe, who is dying in the hospital. Near Mr. Poe’s bedside is another patient, a wealthy Frenchman dying of yellow fever. Mr. Poe can hear him crying out in his sleep and presents to Dr. Wilkinson a strange request, one which will change both of their lives forever. Although much cannot be said without giving away the ending, this story is definitely one that will take a pleasant turn.

Finally, “A Story Not About Richardson”, is told from the perspective of Ripple, a colleague of Richardson. These men work at a university together and have only spoken briefly to one another. Before long, something devastating happens to Richardson, and Ripple and his fellow professors struggle to understand what really happened to him and what went wrong. As the story suggests however, this story is not about Richardson; rather, what happens next and how the perspective and thoughts of Ripple changes after this event.

Overall, I truly enjoyed every story of this collection, and I think all readers would find something of value in these tales.

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Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 210 pages
Publisher Personville Press
Publish Date 15-Nov-2021
ISBN Buy this Book
Issue November 2021
Category Poetry & Short Stories