Welcome back to the third edition of the Liars' League author favourites. This time we are featuring the choice of writer Quintin Forrest. And why not check out some of Quintin's works once you've given his pick a read?
As writers of short, short stories go, the only serious competition Raymond Carver faces is Hector Hugh Munro, AKA Saki. But whereas Carver can sometimes seem like a friendly old dog gone bad, Saki was always a poisonous reptile, in a good way, and never more so than in this. "Sredni Vashtar" is the tale of a ten-year-old boy, Conradin, who, driven to distraction by his strict, over-bearing, Victorian-esque nanny, ends up worshipping his pet ferret, Sredni Vashtar, as a sort of voodoo god.
There's the inevitable choice. But it's no choice really. There's a confrontation.
It's a metaphor for the creative process, possibly, but the main thing I like about it is the lack of morality in the story. Underneath the P. G. Wodehousian style, what it all seems to boil down is basically this; crush your enemies. Nearly a century later, it's still quite bracing.
The bit when Conradin begins chanting Sredni Vashtar's name is worth ... lots, still.
Follow the link to read the story online here:
Quintin Forrest’s four principal activities are writing stories, rewriting his novel, playing PS2 and wishing for a PS3.
Stories Written: "Elephant's Graveyard" (read by Dave Zezulka), "Pete Doherty's Christmas Carol" (read by Max Berendt), "Lavender Bunny and the Big Brother House" (read by Will Goodhand), "The Notting Hill Punisher" (read by Stephen Butterton), "Sarah Palin's Yuletide Epistle 2009" (Daisy Whyte), "Worst Review of My Career, So Far" (read by Al Woodhall, "Lavender Bunny and Celebrity Come Dine With Me" (read by Will Goodhand), "Barry Trotter And The Staff Of Power" (for LL Leeds, read by Stephen Bellamy)