Charley in the Wind by David Farland: Heartbreaking But Compelling

Charley in the Wind by David Farland: Heartbreaking But Compelling

Yesterday, I was disappointed with a story written early in David Farland’s career. He’s one of my favorite authors, and I didn’t get why. It was written early in his career, and even by his own admission was a real downer.

Then I hit up on this story, another written early in Farland’s career as a writer. Unlike what Farland would someday become known for, Charley in the Wind is not fantasy, science fiction or in any way paranormal. For that reason, I think, it surprised me, beat my expectations, and more than a little yanked at my heart-strings.

I know. That’s pretty sappy. But it did. Coming right after reading At the Virgin’s Doorstep, it was a dramatic change.

The story is short, and Farland wastes no time with excess background and description. Here are two boys, growing up in what we would today recognize as tough circumstances, but they don’t know that, and who band together to survive the kinds of things kinds face: bullies, little brothers, and abuse.

Wait, what?

Okay, I hope that no one has to experience abuse, and I would be lying if I said I ever had. However, the story resonates with adolescent boy scenes. Playing with matches. Making promises. Irritating little brothers. Sleep overs with less sleep than is probably known by parents. Exploring the outdoors. And more.

When things take a turn for the worse, though, something caught in my throat, and I felt it. No one should have to go through this to grow up. And yet, I could fully see and feel like it had really happened.

Charley in the Wind is heartbreaking, disturbing and painful, but pulling on all the right strings to build a tale that is well worth the read.

Charley in the Wind Book Cover Charley in the Wind
David Farland
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
September 19th 2012

David Farland's first short story, written as a student while attending BYU. Written about the emotional emasculation of young boys, the story is strongly rooted in Farland's childhood, and carries a strong emotional journey.

About Daniel

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. He reads about history, politics, and current events, as well as more serious genres such as science fiction and fantasy. You can also follow him on his blog where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas.