Strange Horizons, 26 June 2006

Note: This post was imported from an old content-management system, so please excuse any inconsistencies in formatting.
The ghost of Alexandre Dumas comes to eat at a restaurant called Rosie’s in “Waiting on Alexandre Dumas” by William Davis. Done in first-person POV, the narrator is the waiter who happens to be a college drop-out and the only worker who can understand French.  It’s a story of self-realization and shows a realistic glimpse into the service industry, especially where restaurants are concerned.

Davis’s writing is fluid and fast-paced, and he shows a good grasp of characterization. However, in this instance, there were too many characters for a story so short. There were a couple spots where I lost track of who was saying what or remembering Luis from Rico. But since the entire story is set in a restaurant scene, there would’ve been no avoiding the problem. It is a testament to Davis’s writing skill that I managed to be only slightly confused once or twice.

The narrator/main character, whose name I couldn’t find (which seems to be a weakness of mine when reading stories in first-person), undergoes an inner change by the story’s end. So in that, at least, there is a plot, as opposed to a scenic “slice-of-life.” Overall, the story is a worthwhile read if you’re looking for something short and character-driven.