Among the Missing

Chaon, Dan. Among the Missing. New York: Ballantine Books, 2001.

Two short stories from Among the Missing:

“Big Me” is the creepy tale about a boy who thinks he sees his adult self in a substitute teacher at his school. Andy fantasizes about being a detective and spends his spare time torturing confessions out of cats and breaking into people’s homes. When he snoops around the home of his teacher he discovers a photograph of a boy who looks a lot like him. Soon Andy is keeping a journal of his adult self’s life as if it were his own.
Best quote, “Sometimes I think: if no one knows you, then you are no one” (p 52).

“Something to Remember Me By” is the even creepier tale about a man whose best friend had disappeared when they were fourteen. Even though it’s fifteen years later Tom still feels the guilt. The missing boy’s parents have inserted themselves into Tom’s life as if to keep the memory of their own son alive. Seeing them makes Tom feel guilty. What drives Tom’s guilt is the fact he knows more about his friend’s disappearance than he’s letting on. And, to add to the guilt he knows he can never tell.

Reason read: June is national short story month. Hence, a whole bunch of short stories.

Book trivia: Among the Missing is a National Book Award finalist.

Author fact: Dan Chaon has a website and the main page is his blog which appears to be links to reviews. So, not really his blog…theoretically. You can check it out here, if you want.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Short Stories” (p 220).

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