Summer Thunder

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Rrty

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
1,311
4,110
Not sure if there is a thread up on this already, but I read this one today; I found it to be an excellent story. Grim; depressing. Brought me down. For some reason, though, I was thoroughly entertained by this glimpse of a fictional apocalypse. The storytelling kept me on edge. And I should say that, usually, I find nuclear-apocalypse stories a bit on the boring side (I like mysterious apocalypses, or, as overdone as they are, ones based on zombies), but I did not find anything about this one boring.

I'd also like to point out a favorite sentence. Too long to excerpt, but it is on page 494 of the hardcover, second paragraph. It begins "Tattooed girls danced...". I loved the entire sentence, how it was structured with the semicolons, how it was poetically evocative (is that redundant?).
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,219
57
It was the only story that made me actually cry. Truthfully, it's the only story that's made me cry in years.
There's a helplessness in this story that goes beyond what you might normally expect in an "end-of-the-world" saga, it seems to me. This business of "banishing the silence" spoke to me very clearly. Here we've got a guy who's out of options, but feels -- even so -- that he must do something to announce that he once mattered, even if he does no longer.

Banish the silence. Yes. That is very powerful.

Who remembers that old saw about the tree that falls in the forest with no one around to hear it?

And as far as the helplessness goes, as usual, it was the dog that got me. I could appreciate Robinson trying to "help" Gandalf on his way. It's the kind of idea that makes a kind of sense, but I also understood why he almost immediately regretted it. Robinson decides to go out on his own terms -- with both guns blazing, so to speak -- as best he can, but even as he makes his own choice he feels a tug of guilt that even in this extreme, he still cannot choose only for himself.

The human condition.

How on earth do we survive it?

Or do we?
 

Hannie

New Member
Nov 23, 2015
4
25
46
It was the dog that got to me too. My husband thought someone I knew had died based on my reaction to the story. I tried to verbalize why I as crying, but he stopped trying to interpret my weepy half sentences and read the story himself.

And then he got a little misty and excused himself to go work in our garden, where our dogs are buried.

Stephen King made my burly husband cry too. :)
 

Sunlight Gardener

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2013
373
1,253
I absolutely loved this one. Quite possible my favorite in the collection. And I agree it was terribly sad and depressing, but also satisfying in some way. Other than the dog, the part that really made me sad was when he
talked about how before his cell phone was quit working, he kept calling his wife and daughter's phones even though he knew they already dead, just so that he could still hear their voices on their phone messages.
So pathetically sad.
 
Mar 12, 2010
6,539
28,992
Texas
I read this story last night. Halfway through the first page, my inner mind told me to put the book down - it's going to be sad. But I love apocalyptic stories so I continued reading. My dog sat besides me while I was reading and crying, squirming a bit because I was hugging her so hard.
I was really upset at Robinson for leaving Gandalf to get a stupid battery :(

This is the most depressing apocalyptic story I've ever read... But it's also the best.
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,219
57
Other than the dog, the part that really made me sad was when he
talked about how before his cell phone was quit working, he kept calling his wife and daughter's phones even though he knew they already dead, just so that he could still hear their voices on their phone messages.
So pathetically sad.
The part in your spoiler absolutely floored me as well. It's these little touches that bring the characters to life in different ways, depending upon how we relate what we read to our own experience. The entire concept of "memento" is a double-edged sword, it seems to me. But even pain can be a valuable commodity ... if it's all you have.
 
Mar 12, 2010
6,539
28,992
Texas
...the whole, "migration to Canada" because it might be "cleaner"(er)...tasted a bit like Cell to me....I enjoyed the old boy across the way the most-what a fully grown character in just a few strokes....
I also enjoyed the old boy across the way :) Timlin reminded me of Wireman. And Robinson's daily walks reminded me of Freemantle's daily walks. I love Duma Key :)

I need to reread Cell but I want to see the movie before I read it again. Is that movie ever going to be released???
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
84,699
336,678
57
Cambridge, Ohio
I also enjoyed the old boy across the way :) Timlin reminded me of Wireman. And Robinson's daily walks reminded me of Freemantle's daily walks. I love Duma Key :)

I need to reread Cell but I want to see the movie before I read it again. Is that movie ever going to be released???
...about the same time as The Dark Tower movie I would imagine.....:biggrin2:
 

mjs9153

Peripherally known member..
Nov 21, 2014
3,358
21,027
I wonder,if the publisher had just switched the order of Summer Thunder and Drunken Fireworks,if it might have given a better flavor to Thunder and in fact the whole book..I agree it is a very good,well written short story,but the depressing aspect kind of tainted the end of the book for me.Maybe if Fireworks had been the final chapter of the book,it might have closed it with a little better feeling,for me at least..ah,probably just making too much of it..
 

AchtungBaby

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2011
3,856
15,511
I wonder,if the publisher had just switched the order of Summer Thunder and Drunken Fireworks,if it might have given a better flavor to Thunder and in fact the whole book..I agree it is a very good,well written short story,but the depressing aspect kind of tainted the end of the book for me.Maybe if Fireworks had been the final chapter of the book,it might have closed it with a little better feeling,for me at least..ah,probably just making too much of it..
I like "Summer Thunder" as the closer because it sums up all the themes in the stories that come before it.
 
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