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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"One More Victim" Took Thirty Years to Write; It was Worth the Wait. Hope You'll Agree.

In the early 1970s I looked out the window of the back door of our small house in Hutchinson, Kansas, where I was working at the newspaper, to see crows ripping into our black plastic trash bag to peck out its contents. The scene started in me a poem and an idea for a story.

The poem got started:

"In February the crows come,
"To pick though my garbage,
"Make holes in the black plastic sack
"And scatter its entrails over the snow.

The story did too:

"The most important summer of my life began with a house-shaking thunder-boomer that woke me up on a Thursday night in 1958 near the end of my fifth-grade school year."

The story stalled. So did the poem.

Years later the story picked up again and I finished the section from 1958. Years later, I finished the section from 1968. Thirty years later, I finally finished the section set in 1992; found the last verse of the poem that started the whole thing and would now end the novella. It's a boy-finds-girl; boy-loses-girl story. And then again. And then one final time.

One More Victim is a literary novella in which the Holocaust is a critical element, so gets sub-categorized as "world literature, Jewish." When offered free (and I'm not going to do that anymore) went twice to #1 free Amazon ranking As a paid ranking, it twice hit #92. I think that gave me the right to call it a best seller, but that is term much abused these days. It has a strong romance element, too. And it can be considered a coming-of-age, young adult work, as well. My writing touches many genres.

Here's what some reviewers had to say:

Anthea Carson

I could not put this book down. It was absolutely mesmerizing. First of all, I have a thing for books about loves that start in childhood, so it had me hooked right there. But also, this writer is just amazing. The way the language flows makes you want to keep reading. There is something very erotic in the story too, even though it was not cheap eroticism. I like that, when a book is sexy without overdoing it

Nicola Lawson

This short story packs so much into a short length it's hard to believe. It's very well written. I wish there was more of it, not because the story doesn't satisfy because it definitely does. I guess I'll just have to get some more of the authors work.


I'm an older gentleman living out in the boonies, so sometimes I forget that the world has seemingly sped up, even as I've slowed down. Having said that, this book felt like a dust storm packed in a tornado and wrapped in a hurricane. And I say that in the most flattering way. Attwood (this is my first experience with this author, and I'm pleased to say a surprisingly delightful one) manages to include so much back story in such a short space that I couldn't help but feel a bit rushed...and yet it didn't feel rushed. It was just the right back story and it was well constructed. The story itself was such a delight to discover. It left me breathless.

An excerpt:

Her face at that moment is still the sweetest vision I have ever seen. It was full of yearning, yet already satisfied. Her complexion mirrored the innocence of her heart, untouched yet by the cruelty of the world and the far greater cruelty of the expectations we have for ourselves in that world.


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