By Wirton Arvel
A down and out man named Jack, for whom nothing goes right, is about to start an amazing adventure. First he meets and beats the Devil not once, but twice. Then he sets out on a journey to find himself and ends up creating a legend.
This is a version of Halloween or Samhain and of the origin of the Jack O’Lantern. Interesting take on an ancient theme.
Jack O’Lantern: blacksmith, gambler
Other than some minor characters Jack and the Devil are the major two. There’s a fair amount of information on Jack. No physical details for him.
Some of the dialogue is with quotes and some delineated by dashes. I’m not sure why the author did this but in one case he mixed the two. Probably should have chosen one for all dialogue.
Titled chapters. Long and complex sentences. Relatively short story.
The writing is lofty and prosaic yet-and despite the complexity-simple. That’s not to say childishly simple, just plain, to the point. With the writing style and the ‘age’ of the story, I found the use of the word ‘pinball’ out of place.
This story is all the narrator telling the story. There are a few instances of Jack’s thoughts, but from the narrator’s POV. Because of this I didn’t really get into the character of Jack, to really feel him or for him. This is an overview of Jack’s life with little detail on his youth and scant details about his adult life. Maybe some more specific instances of adventures as we saw with his meetings with the Devil? More showing?