Outside Elko

A Story

by Porter Fox

I liked how it started with the comfortable conversation we all could have with a friend and then leads us to the poignant, shattering ending. A great reminder to not forget that each moment counts.

Often, stories seem to be written under the "More is Better" school of thought. Just as often, stories seem to be written by the President of the Hometown, USA chapter of the National Raymond Carver Fan Club, whose title is longer than his story. Rarely is either method truly satisfying. This story finds that mysterious sweet spot somewhere in between; it tells me more than I expected and exactly what I needed. It is immensely satisfying.

This was a very powerful story. I knew that there would be an accident from the beginning because of the lead in comments. The hitchhiker brought in the suspense of what was to happen. The story was very satisfying in that it had closure.

Great style . . . smooth, I liked the sparse phrases.

Just goes to prove you don't have to 'describe your characters' to make the reader care. It's amazing how much I wanted it all to work for them both, before they even got in the car.

A little sketchy, but I liked it. On one hand, the characters act like members of the "beat" generation who had grown older but could not escape the genre, or did not want to. I know people like that. They don't want to be traditional. They want to remain in a lifestyle that their age prohibits, if that lifestyle still exists, which it doesn't. Life has passed them by and they don't understand that. They are hopeless dreamers who will never be satisfied with their lives. The ending to the story is the only thing that saved them from a life that they could not accept.

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