Monday, November 11, 2013


ABLE, BAKER, CHARLIE, DOG  SHORT STORY REVIEW - This short story is part of a larger work by the author entitled Sweet Talk. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker numerous times over a twenty year period. I haven’t read any of the other stories, so this review only pertains to: Able, Barker, Charlie, Dog by Stephanie Vaughn. The story is spare and haunting, centering on the first person narrator’s perceptions of her father, as they changed over time. The title is derived from a trick to memorize the alphabet, that she learned at age twelve years, taught to her by her father, used by the military to keep the B’s separate from the V’s. Throughout the story, he (the father) teaches life lessons, he is a good man, while at the same time, that he is deeply flawed, as a human being. Thematically, this is Vaughn’s moral of the story: even at our best, we’re still capable of our worst. 

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