Jump to content

My Name is Eli by Chris James


Recommended Posts

Another posting by Chris James and one which promises to equal his other posting to AD. If you have never read any of Chris's work it is worth reading this just for the Prologue, which gives a brief but insightful look at the Creation Myth of the Dine (sorry could not get the accent over the e).

Chapter one is an interesting insight into the mind of the protagonist, which offers up a multitude of possibilities for how this story will develop.

I look forward to reading the rest of this story when it is posted as I have no doubt it will be up to Chris's usual high standard.

Link to comment

I agree, the story itself is terrific, though the Native American introduction threw me. A warning to potential readers: don't let it throw you. Keep going until the actual chapter begins. I always enjoy Chris' work, and this looks like no exception.

Link to comment

My thanks to you both for those nice compliments about the story...and all you have seen is Chapter One.

It has been a while since my thoughts created a story that included Native Americans, but I am sure there will be others. In this case the traditions and culture of the Navajo are presented in counterbalance to the modern coming of age story about my main character.

There are some very good websites that present more detail on the Navajo Creation Myth if you care to seek them out. It might have been easy to dismiss what some might see as religious fantasy in the telling of that story but it has deeper meaning. The Navajo are a people of the land and the myth goes a long way into explaining their beliefs about the world around them and how it was created. By contrast the Bible gives us a few paragraphs about the creation of the world and quickly moves on...the Judeo-Christian version of flash fiction.

But have no fear, the story isn't about the details of creation in a strange world, just about the fears and anxiety of a growing teenage boy in this one. I'm sure many of us have had the urge to run away when we were kids and faced with uncertainty, I did. My journey took me across the country and back. Almost 6000 miles just to discover that the answers I sought were no further than the end of my nose, but I had a good time. Enjoy the story.

Link to comment

It has been a while since my thoughts created a story that included Native Americans, but I am sure there will be others. In this case the traditions and culture of the Navajo are presented in counterbalance to the modern coming of age story about my main character.

Yes Chris, it has been a while since we have had one of your Native American stories, but I am glad to see you are back with them. You are one of the few writers I have come across who is neither patronizing of them or campaigning for them. You just give an insightful view of aspects of their society. I hope we see more writing from you in the future with a Native American theme.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Well, the story has come to the end and it has fulfilled the promise it started out with. One thing you can be sure of with Chris James is that he will convey to you the feelings and emotions of his characters in a way that traps you into his story, he has not let us down with this work. In many ways this is yet another classic road story and there is nothing wrong with that, it is also much more, an exploration of a youth coming to terms not just with himself but with the world he has to interact with.

A great story Chris very well told.

Link to comment

Can you tell....I am blushing here. I am quite grateful for all these comments and the several dozen emails from those readers I know and some new folks.

This story involved some of my favorite things: road trips and the necessity of doing research for the Native American elements. A tip of my hat to Lugnutz in my mention of the old 1987 Chrysler...my aunt had one just like it.

Although I knew how the story would end I had no idea how to get there when I first started. Mentally I began to drive on Route 89 and let the thoughts flow...and the image of Dorothy clicking her ruby slippers came to mind with the words: there's no place like home. Obtuse, huh? But we may travel a thousand miles and return to find just what we were looking for on the doorstep. Yes, that makes perfect sense to me.

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

I have just re-read this and if anything it was better second time around. Would recommend it to anyone. I am very grateful to Chris for this story, if only because it introduced me to the music of Einaudi. Thank you Chris.

Link to comment

Let me tell you, Nigel, Einaudi is some of the best music to play while writing. It tugs at the mind, often pulling me away from the words but never for long. Very classical stuff without being too ancient and yet I don't consider it pop music. Eli was built between the lines of Einaudi's music. Thanks for enjoying the story.

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

I was delighted to see this story in Dude's Picks for this month. I will not say it is my favourite Chris James story, I will not say it is the best Chris James story. It is though a story that I keep coming back too time and time again. It is not a story I go specifically looking for when I want to read some Chris James (which is usually about once a month). Then I will go to something like "Nathaniel Smiley", "What a Peach" or "Exit Stage Left". It is, however, a story I keep coming across and every time I do I re-read it. This is probably my tenth or eleventh time reading it. Every time I read it I find it has just got better and better.

It is probably about time I printed a copy of this off, bound it, probably in a nice tan leather, and put it on the shelf above my bed. Nice and easy to find when I am in a mood for a good read of a good story well told.

Link to comment

I did not immediately associate the title with the underlying story but as soon as I started reading I recognized it.  I would agree with Nigel's comments.  It's kind of an interesting twist on the "hero's journey" paradigm.  It leaves us with a mystery as to what happened (or didn't) that night in the hogan with the Turquoise Boy.

Good Pick from the Past.

R

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...