A must-read short story with the best tone I’ve ever read!


The short story “Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta” by Kate Braverman has one of the most authentic and complete tones I have ever encountered. It plants a creepy, dangerous, addictive feel. That feeling becomes palpable; so real I could slice it with a wire-thin cheese slicer.

The story is filled with short, quick sentences that are jarring at first. As the story goes on, those short sentences zipped through my mind like secrets I was never suppose to overhear. They quickened the pace of the read, which matched the quick pace of the plot, a plot that gives you no time to think about its plausibility. My heart beat quickened as I read this story, as I worried for the character’s safety.

The story begins when our main female character, who is 5 months sober, meets a curious man outside her AA meeting. This guy, Lenny, is instantly suspicious. He knows details about the girl’s life even though he just met her. Acting like he is on drugs, he can’t stop talking and reveals things he shouldn’t. He talks in very quick, short sentences, often using filler words like “yeah” and “okay?” and rarely lets the woman speak. The plot and the tone compliment each other, both giving credibility to the other and intensifying that feeling of being on the edge of disaster. 

“Tall Tales From the Mekong Delta” is a great read and at a mere 19 pages, you have no reason not to read it! Writers specifically should read this story (probably multiple times) and absorb as much as they can. The tone is encompassing, and the increasing creepiness of Lenny throughout the story only intensifies the tone.

The story can be read in full on Kate Braverman’s website.

Agree or disagree? Please let me know what you think! 



About Sarah JS

Aspiring writer, lover of words, book nerd, working editor, and permanent student of the world

Posted on December 16, 2014, in Book Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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