Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

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Algernon Sydney is Dead
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Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Algernon Sydney is Dead » Fri May 24, 2013 4:45 am

Feature: The Man Who Drew Cats by Michael Marshall Smith
Drabble: Man a la Moustache by Basil Godevenos

Image

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Old Tom was a very tall man. He was so tall he didn’t even have a nickname for it. Ned Black, who was at least a head shorter, had been ‘Tower Block’ since the sixth grade, and Jack, the owner of the Hog’s Head Bar, had a sign up over the door saying ‘Mind Your Head, Ned’. But Tom was just Tom. It was like he was so tall it didn’t bear mentioning even for a joke: be a bit like ragging someone for breathing…

Art by Christine Dennett
Read by: Barry Northern

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Mikes » Fri May 24, 2013 6:25 am

It's like DRabblecast was listening to my mind. I've been listening to the Moon soundtrack today, and wondering if Cast Macabre would ever release another cast, and lo and behold here are both!

Great story well told. Great episode.
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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Djinndustries » Sun May 26, 2013 8:36 am

Hearkens back to the good ol' days of Creature and At the End of the Hall, all pathos, no bathos.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Varda » Sun May 26, 2013 12:43 pm

Loved this story. It had a strong narrative voice as written, but the reader and the sound production made it even better. This is one of those stories where the point's more the awesome storytelling than any twist ending. I especially loved the realistic portrayal of how community reactions to domestic violence can exacerbate the problem or alleviate it.

Tom's a sort of Batman. I was never really sure how to feel about his vigilantism, especially whatever he did to the man who stole his girl. As a character he had that delicious mixture of likability and lurking darkness just below the surface. I fully expected a reveal at the end that he was an alien, or some evil creature of horror. Maybe he's just a Fury in retirement, though; chaotic neutral through and through.
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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby El Barto » Sun May 26, 2013 11:35 pm

That was an enjoyable listen even though the ending was telegraphed from ten miles away.

I would have liked for one of Tom's bar mates to have wronged him in a minor way and then spent the rest of his life wondering. Wondering.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby bounceswoosh » Mon May 27, 2013 10:14 pm

I loved this story and the reading. And I just created an account on this forum for the exclusive purpose of saying so.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Algernon Sydney is Dead » Tue May 28, 2013 2:33 am

That's a fine reason to create an account.

Welcome aboard, bounceswoosh!

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby chemistryguy » Tue May 28, 2013 2:21 pm

El Barto wrote:That was an enjoyable listen even though the ending was telegraphed from ten miles away.


I think that was the whole point of Norm's outro. The ending was obviously heading toward sweet, sweet justice, but everything up to that point is what held me. Both the writing and the narration was wonderfully done. As real a painting of small town life as Tom's animals.

Frankly, I think the story should have ended with a glimpse at the drawing and leaving the rest to imagination.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby bounceswoosh » Tue May 28, 2013 5:02 pm

El Barto wrote:That was an enjoyable listen even though the ending was telegraphed from ten miles away.

I would have liked for one of Tom's bar mates to have wronged him in a minor way and then spent the rest of his life wondering. Wondering.


By my reading, that wouldn't have fit the character. Tom seemed like someone who did his best to be a good, non-violent man and not abuse his power. When he decided something could not stand, he acted swiftly. If the bar mate spent his life wondering, it would have been because the BM (heh) projected his own pettiness onto Tom, not because Tom seemed like the kind of person to seek vengeance for a minor slight years later.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Richmazzer » Tue May 28, 2013 7:21 pm

Wow, that was something else. It felt like Stephen King but much much better. I had the same thought as the previous poster that the small town was painted as vividly by Smith with text as Tom's tiger was drawn with chalk. I will definitely be checking out more from this author on Amazon.

Extremely well read. I remember Barry Northern's last reading on the show for a Trifecta a while back (can't remember the name of the story, but it was about a curse that made a man's baby turn into a monster and then the guy's wife ate his face)... because it was also very good. Combined with the haunting piano music this was very powerful.

The artwork. It's spectacular. Norm's intro cracked me up as always, but I really liked the outro commentary. I admit to being one of those that usually tries to guess endings and look for twists and appreciated Norm's preemptive strike against telegraphed ending backlash.

The drabble, loved it, although I don't really understand the title (?) This episode had win smothered all over it.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby SquireM » Wed May 29, 2013 4:35 pm

Sometimes a story comes at just the right time and place and resonates like a gigantic tuning fork in ones chest. The story, the reading, the music... I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes. I agree that you could see the ending coming but for me it didn't take away from the experience at all, and that in itself is incredible.

I think I have to do my duty now and go donate. The Drabblecast is awesome!

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Kibitzer » Thu May 30, 2013 10:32 am

I will just say: frakin' awesome.

(oh, and some more words)

I loved this story's slow build to a BIG conclusion that was witnessed by some folks ten years ago. As Norm said, it was about relationships and what needs to happen (maybe) to make them work.

Reminded me a lot of "Sling Blade" with Billy Bob Thornton.
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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Luca aged 7 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:54 am

This story was awesome. I have been listening to the drabblecast for years, but rarely take the time to post.

Other feedback: please no more frank keys.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby strawman » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:23 am

Luca aged 7 wrote:This story was awesome. I have been listening to the drabblecast for years, but rarely take the time to post.

Since you were 2?
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Kibitzer » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:28 am

strawman wrote:
Luca aged 7 wrote:This story was awesome. I have been listening to the drabblecast for years, but rarely take the time to post.

Since you were 2?


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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Algernon Sydney is Dead » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:58 am

Fantastically awesome episode and story. I do so love a story with a proper arc, a coherent plot, and character development that tells us just enough, without bogging down in trivialities. We even have the mysterious "sheriff" riding walking off into the metaphorical sunset. :)

The ending wasn't telegraphed, it could have gone in so many ways. (And sadly often does in stories these days.) No, it was foreshadowed and developed logically from the narrative -- without nonlinear cheats or major plot holes. It's a subtle difference between "telegraphed" and good story telling. And, it was damn refreshing.

Barry Northern narrated with great tone, cadence, and understated emotion. His accent fit the story well.

~~~
Good drabble and twabble. To my mind, they subtly harmonized with the social and supernatural themes of the story.

~~~
I wish Norm would state what backing tracks he used. The subtle background music (again) complimented the story so well, helping to set the mood.

The end of the episode was definitely a Clint Mansell track. The story background sounded Clint Mansell-esque, but I can't be sure.

Most over-the-top Normism:
A tall man in black, a woman's eye in black...

:P


I'm going to miss this story, now that it's done...
The story wrote:(It) just wasn't there, 'cept for the hole in our hearts.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby Luca aged 7 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:36 pm

strawman wrote:
Luca aged 7 wrote:This story was awesome. I have been listening to the drabblecast for years, but rarely take the time to post.

Since you were 2?


Yes, I am very advanced. New Yorker fiction podcast is only monthly and is not weird enough unless it's Borges.

I request some Roald Dahl. That's some weird ish.
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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby strawman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:01 am

Luca aged 7 wrote:I request some Roald Dahl. That's some weird ish.
http://www.roalddahlfans.com/shortstories.php


Great idea. And if we're allowed to do that, P.G.Wodehouse is a delightful kind of strange, a la Saki. (Specifically, At Geisenheimer's is my personal favorite.)
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby danthelawyer » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:19 am

Varda wrote:Loved this story. It had a strong narrative voice as written, but the reader and the sound production made it even better. This is one of those stories where the point's more the awesome storytelling than any twist ending. I especially loved the realistic portrayal of how community reactions to domestic violence can exacerbate the problem or alleviate it..


This captures my thoughts almost perfectly. I would only add that the ending was really telegraphed, but that was somehow OK.

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Re: Drabblecast 283 – The Man Who Drew Cats

Postby tbaker2500 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:54 pm

Daaaaaaayyyuum! That was an incredible experience! :shock:

I won't repeat what the other's have said about narration, sound, etc. But I am tremendously impressed with the quality of writing. I have a strong chip on my shoulder against authors who try to convey depressing situations. The standard approach is to create an awful situation, and lock you in a position to do nothing about it. They force feed you emotions over which you have no control, drag you through the mud, drown you in sorrow, in an attempt to make a point. This removes your ability to respond to the situation with your own emotions, which is an utter waste of good storytelling.

This story was a master stroke of making you an observer. You felt like you were one of the group of friends. It felt like you were there in a casual way, like everyone else in this story, living life. Then then author presents the situation, not the emotions on how you are supposed to feel. You get to feel how you want to feel about what is happening. And, given that you're not a psychopath, those emotions are real and more intense than if you were force fed them.

Truly amazing work.


Side note: While I'm not insanely tall, I am 6'5" and named Tom. Coincidence? You decide!
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