Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tiny Deaths: "Tiny Deaths"

The title story "Tiny Deaths" is a variation of the story of Jesus Christ and the Resurrection. It's told with a bit of moxie in the sense that Shearman brings a 21st Century inner monologue to Jesus and doesn't really work with the concept that Jesus is God.

Shearman starts first with Jesus and the cross. Several pages into the story, Jesus dies. He expects to awaken in heaven. Instead, he is reborn, living another life. The only thing is that Jesus lives the life of a swarthy man who ends up killing another and is crucified. It's the murderer on the cross NEXT to Jesus, the one who is told will go to heaven for saying that Jesus did no wrong. Yeah, him.

Again and again Jesus is reborn, with full knowledge of each life he had previously lived and is reborn into a life during the era of Christ. Sometimes as an apostle, sometimes as a woman, sometimes as someone who never got anywhere close to Christ. The frustration of Jesus (the one being reborn, not the Primary Jesus who gets crucified) comes through.

"Tiny Deaths" is a fascinating story, not the least because the reader is waiting to see what life Jesus will be reborn as next. In "Tiny Deaths" Jesus plays nearly all the roles at one time or another, and yet is either unable or unwilling to change the way the game plays out.

One of the best stories in the collection.

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