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Wednesday 20 March 2013

Choices and Chances by Patrick White


Choices and Chances is a collection of three short stories, each very different from the other, articulately and intelligently written.

The Streak is about a man whose social skills are somewhat undeveloped. He could be called a social misfit. He believes he’s a man who’s hardly noticed, but to his surprise, someone does… 

The Traffickers is the second story and my favourite of the three. A man finds the cost of making the wrong choices for the right reasons is a heavy one.

The final story (The Law of Unintended Consequences) is about Trevor, who objects to the ethics of a particular company and when fate puts an employee from that company, who also represents everything he abhors, in his path, he finds an opportunity to take revenge. 

The Streak was perhaps the story that left me with the most unanswered questions; or perhaps I wasn’t clever enough to solve them! The Traffickers was very well structured and a fine example of how a short story should be conceived. The last story was, if I'm honest, a little heavy-going, with an overload of information: I think the story outgrew its length and probably needed to step into something the next size up.

Overall, though, fine and skilled writing.

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