Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Invisibles by Hugh Sheehy

The Invisibles by Hugh Sheehy

Quick Summary: A high school girl who thinks she is “invisible” to others is the main characters. Her two best friends are boyfriend and girlfriend and were abducted when they were at Lover’s Lane. At the end of the story, they find the killer but it does not seem to be for certain in the girl’s mind that they have the right guy.

1. Compare and contrast the short story you choose in a given week to the novel we are reading that week. Consider differences in character development, plots, settings and themes. Consider how the length of the form, i.e. short story vs. novel, impacts the story. Which did you prefer in a given week and why.

The character development in Black Betty is a little slower than in “Invisibles.” Then again it has to be in a short story because time does now allow a long character development. In “Black Betty,” Easy is introduced in the beginning and doesn’t seem to vary much in character. The plots are actually strikingly similar, they both involve missing people. They both seem to be dead but there is no or little evidence to prove it. The settings are complete opposites, “Blacky Betty” takes place in Los Angeles which is a very large city and “Invisibles” takes place in a very small town. The themes are different because “Invisibles” has all Causasian people and “Black Betty” has mostly African American characters.

I think the length of “Invisibles” really sold the story short of its true potential. I was really hooked in the beginning of the story and wanted to know what happened. Then the last page didn’t really wrap up what happened to the girl’s missing mother.

I would have to say that I pick the short story this week because I found it captavating from the very beginning. I thought that “Black Betty” was a little to slow for me. I need some more exciting things to happen in order for me to call it a “page turner.”

2. Do you attribute any differences between the short stories based on the gender of the author? If so, explain what differences you observed.

Both of the stories were written by males. I thought that Hugh Sheehy did a very good job of desribing a teenage girl that felt lost in the world in “Invisibles.” I really felt that I understand how she was feeling even though I never felt as though she did in high school. I thought he did a great job of constantly desribing the characters feelings to let you truly get into the story.

Easy Rawlings seemed odd to me because he was never seemed attached to any woman. It didn’t even seem as though any of his past lovers had left him remorseful at all. When he talked about an ex-wife and the reason why they divorced is that he never told the truth, he didn’t even seem sorry. I did like how he would think of his children before he acted. I thought that made him seem like a respectable man.

3. Review each short story. What did you like or dislike and why? Did the mystery in the short story work for you, i.e., were you challenged, surprised, satisfied or unsatisfied by what happened in the end.

The mother disappeared a long time ago and there were two teenagers that disappeared recently. They were thought to have to the same murderer. You would think they would say they found the mother’s body when they found the other two. They didn’t confirm that they ever found the mother’s body which I thought was a real bummer. I wanted them to come out and say they found the mother’s body or used dental impressions to prove it was her: but instead it said “What if my mother was one of the bodies they’d found, one of those so decayed it would never be identified?” I want a story to spell out every detail in the end and not leave me wondering when I am finished. The other detail that frustrated me is that it didn’t seem that they it was they were 100% sure they had the right guy. It said “Then the station broadcast footage of the police arresting the man who murdered my friends, he wasn’t anyone I recognized.” This story left some details unexplained and were left a little fuzzy. I really wish the author spent the last page explaining that instead of how he did.

Overall I would say that this short story did not work for me. With a new ending that explains what also happened to the mother, I think this story would possess a lot of potential.

4. Reflect on the rest of the course, including your thoughts, reactions, observations, etc about the online discussion, the novels and anything else that strikes you as relevant to the course and your experience. DO NOT REPEAT WHAT YOU HAVE POSTED IN THE ONLINE DISCUSSIONS.

I am still enjoying reading mystery novels and calling that homework! I find this much more intersting exciting than reading a typical text book. I am still waiting to find a book that I consider a “must read” that I will recommend to my husband who also loves to read. I want a book that is unpredictable and makes me not want to put it down. I have enjoyed the books but feel like I am left wanting a little more out of them when I am finished.

5. Add anything else that you think is relevant to the course and your experience. I'm not looking for anything specific here, only what may be important to you. If you don't have anything to add in this category, that's okay. I won't deduct points and it won't hurt your grade. However, interesting, compelling thoughts or observations can enhance your grade.

Holy Cow, this is a lot of reading!!! Can anyone recommend a good speed reading teacher? J


  1. Molly-
    I enjoyed your frank review of this story. You provided some really good reasoning behind your opinion of the story. I was struck by the fact that Invisible featured a main character of a young girl, but was written by an adult male. The disucssion board this week featured a question about whether an author can successfully write a character with a dissimiliar identity (ie: gender, race, class, etc...). It sounds as if perhaps, this author was successful in that, however, left the rest of his story lacking.

    I can also say that I am enjoying the reading but would much appreciate some speed reading capabilities!

  2. I am curious now to read The Invisibles, although I am reluctant to be disappointed in the ending. I have noticed that the short stories in our book vary in length. I think the pace of a story is very important,as well as a strong ending that feels neither hurried nor torturously slow.