A collection of ten outdoor adventure stories previously published in major literary and commercial magazines, including Salt Water Sportsman, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and Sport Fishing. The lively “Rehabilitating Hemingway,” an article commissioned by Salt Water Sportsman, rounds out the collection. Plots involve a loser fishing for tarpon in a national aquarium, a striped bass that swallows a cell phone containing an important message, a female game warden pursuing a legendary poacher, canoeing in a hurricane’s storm surge, boys dodging lethal arrows, a deer-like track star, and children rescuing bird eggs from a deadly snake. The action spans the sports world: hunting, fishing, football, baseball, basketball, track and field, and a 10-page surprise finale.
These tales showcase Norman German’s sharp, accurate use of detail and his surprising and original plots. He’s a veteran storyteller who never fails to please his readers.
—Tim Gautreaux, The Clearing
Set in the Atchafalaya Swamp, the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, and the suburbs of Louisiana cities, these lovely, harrowing stories remind us of Norman German’s very large talent. His stories warn us that, inevitably, we pay for forsaking those who were once ours—sons, daughters, lovers.
—Anthony Bukoski, Time Between Trains
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Customer Reviews (1)
Pride, Greed, and Ambition
Pride, Greed, and Ambition
Norman German's short story, "Call Forwarding," was intended to teach people a lesson about greed, and how easily one can get caught up in materialism. German can probably relate to modern day America, and the fact that our intentions are to have the flashiest, most expensive materialistic items around. On the other hand, from this story, one can understand that it does not bring happiness, and the ending can be somewhat disastrous.
The short story focuses on Scott Crankton, a once native to the bayou moved to Rhode Island as a real estate investor, and acquired a flashy boat along with many other materialistic goods. Looking for quality time fishing with old buddies, Scott was distracted by a real estate sell he was staunched on making, but in the process his expensive cellular phone falls overboard. He spends the remaining part of his trip worried, and vowing to win the fishing tournament at all costs. When an old man, Mr. McCourtney, begins fishing in his old worn our boat, Crankton feels great about his own possessions like his flashy boat. Scott Crankton catches a winning fish, but when his buddy asks him to give the fish to Mr. McCourtney because they both hooked it, he refuses. McCourtney's fish begins to ring, and Scott Crankton will give anything to get the fish back because he is waiting on call from a potential buyer, but Mr. McCourtney is not interested in Scott's fine expensive offers; he is simply satisfied with the fish. After Scott spends a lot of money on getting the potential winning fish with the cell phone in it, he learns that it is not his phone. Even more ironically, Scott finds out that Mr. McCourtney would never enter a fishing tournament, so his money and items given was to a worthless cause.
The end of the story is the most intriguing because Scott Crankton is at his wits end about potentially losing the fishing tournament and losing his big real estate sell because he lost his phone. German makes point to have Mr. McCourtney turn down everything that Scott offers him to show that the simplest things in life are those moments we cherish most, not winning or big sells. For instance, Scott offered a GPS, but Mr. McCourtney responds, "Can't use that. Always know where I am (German)."Norman German offers a clear cut view of both Mr. McCourtney and Crankton's true character. While Mr. McCourtney is not phased by the materialistic things, Crankton would give everything in order to simply win a small fishing tournament; greed and ambition has overtaken the mindset of once a simply boy from the bayou. The author really makes the reader feel like the experience is happening right before them. For example, "On his knees, Scott cut the striper's belly open and squeezed. Two shad squirted out, followed by a tiny, shiny cell phone. Scott snatched up the phone, opened it and fell back on the deck. The sick look on his face had returned (German)." The reader can almost see Scott doing these actions which is a great usage of imagery by the author.
The short story "Call Forwarding" has great strength when looking at the overall moral of the story, but it lacks a strong introduction. It begins with an unclear message as to what these groups of men are doing, and all that is clear is the setting of water, wind, and a speeding boat. The reader may find it very difficult to become interested judging by the first few paragraphs, but once Scott loses his phone and the chaos begins, the reader will be literally hooked. The short story, published in Salt Water Sportsman, an international magazine with 1.2 million subscribers and 3.4 million readers with other short stories has the ability to compete with any short story because of its overall message. The idea of greed and a life of materialism can be associated to any part of our nation or people, so this piece is highly recommended if one needs to be grateful for what life has given them. Despite whether one is rich, middle-class, or dirt poor, everyone needs to find direction on how handle greed, ambition, and pride; Norman German's "Call Forwarding" does a great job explaining the consequences and struggle one will experience if all three of those characteristics are abused. Simply a great read!
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