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Working in a variety of fields - as a TV host, model, actor and teacher, to name a few, Robbie Reilly (also known as Rye Dano) makes his home in Tokyo, Japan.
S. E. Mann
on July 04, 2010 :
The Carrion Trap
"Tell her I'll be waiting in the usual place
With the tired and weary and there's no escape
To need a woman you've got to know
How the strong get weak, and the rich get poor."
----Bryan Ferry "Slave To Love" single, April 1985
In reading "The Carrion Trap", I was at first reminded of Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel "The Secret Garden" where the theme of the story is an enclosed garden as a symbolic life force, causing the regeneration of an entire family. Here, in "The Carrion Trap", on the contrary, the enclosed garden ominously portends the disintegration of a family: a couple who are "clearly...not a good match."
Well-off modern suburbanite Franklin Plimpton is building a crow-catcher for his wife Kara's garden at their home in New England. We hear the story from next-door neighbor, Roger, who doesn't tell us much about what is going on: he maintains a breezy tone, like a gossipy John Cheever story about old preppies living in Connecticut. "How awful about Kara and Franklin, did you hear what happened?" We are free to read all kinds of things into their story. Maybe in one of their arguments Franklin killed Kara and dumped her body into the cistern under the gazebo, then made his escape in his sailboat to Gaspe, Canada; the one place he had been happy a long time ago. Or maybe Kara just left Franklin for good this time; with his carrion trap of tools and projects and half-finished dreams.
"The Carrion Trap" is a multivalent story with many levels of meaning. Superficially, it is a statement about the entanglements of a certain kind of domesticity: the crow-catcher of marriage has enabled crow Kara to ingest carrion Franklin "until the food runs out." Both Kara and Franklin are victims of this trap. On a deeper level, the theme of "The Carrion Trap" is the duality of human nature: decorous social personae contrasted against profound inner corruption. In either case, this is a brilliant diary of the alienation felt in modern suburbia. I enjoyed reading this and recommend it highly. Enthusiastic ten out of ten!
Literary review by Stan Hudgins
(reviewed the day of purchase)