Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hooves and the Hovel of Abdel Jameela

Short Story by Saladin Ahmed
Originally Published in Clockwork Phoenix 2

Middle Eastern doctor goes out to save a hermit's wife, but things get weirdly supernatural and his faith is tested, or at least the his conception of the line between evil and kindness. For being such a good guy, he is magically and richly rewarded at the end.

There is also a touch of the modern medical dilemmas involved in potentially dangerous elective surgeries.

Issues of religious faith were touched on, but I didn't feel this story was nearly as religious as the Podcastle introduction lead me to believe. Mr. Khanna is a very good reader, but Dave's intro/outro just bugged me.

The surgical complication to this story is surprising and probably my favorite aspect of the whole thing. Which is a problem. This is just a well-told folk-tale with a more modern sensibility than you'd expect and some synesthesia used in the supernatural descriptions. I like the writing quite a bit, but there isn't much to the story. 3.5 cloven hooves out of 5.

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