Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stories for Sunday: "The Frog" by Reed Farrel Coleman

In anticipation of Reed Farrel Coleman and Ken Bruen’s collaborative novel Tower (due out next week from Busted Flush Press), this weeks edition of Stories for Sunday will highlight one of Coleman’s short stories: “The Frog.”

Originally published in Plots with Guns (#33, Nov/Dec 2004), “The Frog” concerns a private detective named Gulliver Dowd who has been hired to track down Alain DeGail, the former director of a French insurance company who has mysteriously gone missing. But instead of the well-dressed executive-type he expected, Dowd has come across a defeated man, a misshapen blob of flesh and rags. Even though he never requests details from his clients, Dowd understands all-too-well the man he was hired to track down.

“We walk. We fall. We walk. We fall. It’s only the heights from which we fall that distinguish us.”

Coleman’s Moe Praeger novels were characterized not only by his fatalistic wit (there’s humor even in the darkest of situations) but also an unceasing humanism. He feels genuine empathy for his fallen characters, but also knows that even with their best effort everything won’t always turn out for the best. Despite its unassuming brevity, “The Frog” shares these same attributes. Fans of Walking the Perfect Square won’t want to miss out.

Read “The Frog” by Reed Farrel Coleman here at Plots with Guns.

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