(Short Story Written by Stephen King)
For a short story we are dealing with a lot of character names to remember. Consequently, this takes a lot of work and concentration, is the story worth it? Good question. In comparison to “Harvey’s Dream,” and “The New York Times…” along with “Rest Stop,” it is a little better written, although the ending in “Rest Stop,” is far above “Alana’s ending.
In “Ayana” he only cusses once, thank goodness- every time someone does in these so called modern stories, it just smells as if s/he has a bad vocabulary (the author, not the character), as if the author couldn’t find a good replacement-limited expressions. Anyhow, this is my forth review and forth short story out of the book: “Just after Sunset,” of which I’ve read of Mr. King’s. It is better written than the previous three-I repeat- and has good descriptions, good explaining, theme building is good, stays in his proper tenses; he shows the despairing-ness in growing old, his similes are good for once, in the last three stories it would have been better to have dropped them. I actually found a little style in this story believe it or not, although he took it from Sherwood Anderson, but as Hemingway once said: you can take, only if you can do it better. Perhaps he didn’t need much dialogue in this story either, because it is not there, since he used a narration that was more reporting than being involved-which always lacks in adjectives. There is not much suspense in this as there was in “Rest Stop.”
Actually the ending was a little flat in “Ayana” but we all can’t come up with dynamic endings every time-now can we. I guess the story is good enough, although I’d not nominated it for a Blue Ribbon. It is not a great story, but again I repeat, the aging dilemma we all face is the thread that holds the story together for me.