A semi-daily chronicle of my life as a musician, a family man, and a citizen of Oregon.

Oct 16, 2008

The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake by Breece D'J Pancake

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
First thing to just kind of get out there is that the story of Breece D'J Pancake is kind of a bummer. I won't get into it in too much detail - but suffice to say that Pancake was apparently a guy who wasn't too comfortable in his own skin, may have been a bit depressive, and seemed to feel like a person outside much of the time. The reason you probably haven't heard of him is that he committed suicide at a relatively young age - 25. Admittedly, I am often drawn to this kind of person - Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, etc.

But putting all of that aside, Pancake was an amazingly talented writer who excelled in the short fiction form. Pancake was from West Virginia. Think coal miners, farmers, rural towns. This is the world that his stories inhabit, and the authenticity of this world leaps off the page.

His stories are poignant and profound, with layers of meaning not explicitly outlined, but there for the reader to pick up and examine, just like the trilobites that are the feature of one of his better known stories. As I read this I thought a lot about Hemmingway. Apparently I'm not the only one, as the comparison is drawn on Wikipedia as well.

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