Story Title: ‘Crannock House’ by Ben Lyle
Collection/Anthology?: Various Authors Anthology 1 (The Fiction Desk)
Date Read: 2nd Aug 2011
Briefly: With the arrival of new maths teacher Mervyn, life is about to get a little more interesting for one of the pupils boarding at Crannock House School; an unconventional learning establishment for ‘misfits’, located on a small estate in the middle of the Scottish countryside.
Afterthoughts: This is a superb little tale from Lyle, a MA graduate of creative writing at the University of East Anglia, who these days spends most of his time in the wonderful world of film-making (his bio says he is now co-head of development at Gorgeous Films). And to honest this story – which for the most part is sad and gloomy with the odd chink of light – would make an excellent short movie, such is the depth of Lyle’s development (as deep as short stories characters can get), of his character, Mervyn, who begins odd and then gets even odder as the story develops. The real triumph of this story however, isn’t solely based on the success of one character. Rather, it’s Lyle’s sublime treatment of the relationship between one lonely schoolboy and an equally lonely academic, that really puts the icing on the cake.
This story was read as part of a review of the Various Authors Anthology, Volume 1. If you want to find out more about this anthology then I invite you to pop along to my forethoughts post for this title. I also encourage you to make a trip over to the publisher page for this title.