Deal Me In – Week 33 Wrap Up



Following are links to our group’s postings this week:

James reads Raymond Chandler’s “Trouble is My Business” and George Orwell’s essay “Marrakech” his post is at

Dale shares with us a lesser know story from the creator of Walter Mitty, posting about James Thurber’s “University Days”

Randall’s finally heads south, posting about Carson McCullers’ “Sucker”

Katherine visits The Barnum Museum once more, sharing the penultimate remaining Steven Millhauser story in her deck, “Alice, Falling

I wrote about two stories, “Class of 1990″ by Rebecca Emin and “The Bell in the Fog” by Gertrude Atherton. I’m going to stop linking to my own posts since you can “just scroll down” and you’re already at my blog. 🙂

My use of the word “penultimate” above reminded me of one of my favorite cartoons, that I think first appeared in The New Yorker. Any excuse to share…



George R.R. Martin a short story writer?

Though not a Deal Me In post, regular DMI contributor James’s following entry is certainly worth a look:

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe (now 25) stars in the series “A Young Doctor’s Notebook” – an adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s short stories

P.S. I’ll be off-line almost all of next weekend (Indianapolis Open Chess Tournament – Nerd Alert!) so my week 34 wrap up post will certainly be delayed. 🙂

Rebecca Emin’s “Class of 1990”


It’s week 33 of the Deal Me In short story reading challenge, and the hand of fate fell down on the job a little bit this time, dealing out the five of hearts and this story only after the peak of high school and college “reunion season” (at least around here) had passed.

Worth noting is that I also read a story by this author as part of last year’s Deal Me In challenge. My post about “Tour and Duty” may be found here. Like that story, this one was quite short and would, I think, be more accurately classified as “flash fiction.” I liked this one as well – particularly its premise – but only wished there were more to it.

“The Class of 1990” is the story of four (I presume college) friends who, on their graduation day meet at a favorite restaurant. Sylvia, Clive, Kate, and Max share the standard pleasantries such an occasion warrants and one suggests that they meet there every five years to “have a catch up.” They all agree and the subsequent “chapters” each include a brief exchange of dialogue from those five-year reunions.

The gimmick of the story is that, after each character speaks a line of dialogue out loud, we are given in italics the true thoughts that are going through the character’s mind. For instance, when Sylvia says, “Im so glad we decided to come for a meal,” what we read in italics is: Let’s get this ordeal over so I can go home to my real friends.

Most of the ’true thoughts’ are what many of us have surely always suspected is going on behind the curtain at reunions, except for Max’s that is. He is the one character who is actually sincere in his dialogue AND his true feelings. Max is also the first one of the four not to show up at one of the every five year reunions. Why he is not there is the “twist” of the story.

This makes the third story from Emin’s collection “A Knowing Look and Other Stories” that I’ve read. I’ve enjoyed all three enough to finish the collection, but whether I parcel them out slowly as part of my future editions of Deal Me In, or knock them out all at once as a vacation read or something, I don’t know. The collection maybe found on Amazon (kindle version only $2.99 )

I found the following photo at which features a beautiful Russian deck of playing cards.