Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Book Review: Salesmanship (Short Story) by Jack Ewing

Salesmanship (Short Story)

Author: Jack Ewing

Purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Travis has learned to be glib in the process of selling his mother’s handmade products door-to-door to help contribute to his poverty-stricken family’s finances. Usually, the seventh-grader only works the immediate twenty-square-block low-rent neighborhood, where he has become a familiar and unwelcome figure hawking items of dubious quality to customers with little money to spare and less inclination to buy.

One evening, Travis and his mom decide to try new territory. They drive across town to an upscale subdivision in an attempt to sell batches of freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies. In the course of the night, young salesman Travis discovers that rich folks have just as many sins to hide as poor people and, better still, that the wealthy are willing to pay to protect their secrets.

Brought to you by TeamNerd Reviewer Annabell Cadiz

Review: Salesmanship is only eight pages long. so I’m not sure how much can be said for the mini-story, but I will start off by saying this tiny little story managed to do what a few other of the short stories I’ve read haven’t been able to—pleasantly surprise me!

There isn’t too much characterization or plot build up and no suspense whatsoever. The story begins interestingly enough and keeps a steady pace while readers learn about Travis and his mother’s crazy inventions. Travis is a sweet kid. He loves his mom and respects her. He thinks she’s a little batty but he’d do anything for his mom and to help bring in income, so he goes door to door selling his mother’s inventions and concoctions. In Salesmanship, Travis’s mother has baked cookies for him to sell. Travis doesn’t think they’ll sell since the cookies are burnt and break easily, so most of the bags hold nothing more than crumbled remains but he ventures off to do what his mother ask. He travels to the rich district of Winstead Heights with his mother. The first door Travis knocks on will haunt his memories.

The last half of page six to the end offered such a nice little twist that I couldn’t keep from smiling. I had to reread it because I was so surprised at what had happened. In just two and half pages, the story turned from innocent to dark. I loved how the author managed to show such a defining moment in Travis’s life and the secrets behind closed doors in a subtle twist.

Great little read!

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