Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Ever since I read Watch Your Mouth by Daniel Handler (aka: Lemony Snicket ) I've been dying to read more. Adverbs (2006) is something like short stories but not quite. Sometimes the characters come back but it's also not a novel. Each story/chapter's title is an adverb: Clearly, Naturally, Wrongly, Often, etc. Like most collections, some of them are so-so and some of them make you want to lie down and die (in a good way. Happy.)

Look, I'll go ahead and tell you why it's called that because I don't think it will ruin it for you, and if you're like me, you'll forget anyway... It's based on a party game called "Adverbs" where someone leaves the room and you choose an adverb and when they come back, everyone acts out the word and the person tries to guess.
It's a charade, although it's not much like Charades. You play until you get bored. Nobody keeps score, because there's no sense in keeping track of what everyone is doing.

The story that made me want to die was Soundly - it's about two girl friends, one of whom is dying. They leave the hospital for the day and get stuck in traffic on the way back:

There was a noise above us like an airplane zoom, but it was getting too dark to see. People started laying on the horn, braying like bad geese in a panic. "I am here," Lila said with a trembly smile. Our driver's ed teacher had told us that's what the horn should mean. Not Move along, buddy or I am displeased but I am here. I am here, I am here, I am here!


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