Short Story Review: ‘Dave Tough’s Luck’ by Matthew Licht

Story Title: ‘Dave Tough’s Luck’ by Matthew Licht
Collection/Anthology?: Various Authors Anthology 1 (The Fiction Desk)
Date Read: 27th January 2012
Briefly: The narrator – a competent but not brilliant drumming instructor – is hired to give drumming practise to the ‘retarded’ son of a large musical family (they’re called the Shrovers, not the von Trapps :)). It soon becomes clear – despite his condition – that Andy is something of a drumming prodigy. Despite a number of fundamental issues, the narrator considers Andy to be so good on the drums that he begins to wonder if he may not be a reincarnation of his drumming idol, Dave Tough.
Afterthoughts: Although this story is heavy with terminology that will baffle all but those with knowledge of drumming, it’s still very readable. I like the pace of Matthew Licht’s prose. It skips along with speed and a sense of urgency, which is perfect for a story that’s themed around such an energetic activity. However, this is not simply a tale about drumming, or indeed an homage to the drumming great Dave Tough. Dave Tough’s Luck goes way deeper than that. Rather, this is a somewhat touching story about a connection between two very different people. It’s also a muse on how the talents of people with learning difficulties can be brushed over by those who are closest to them. This is the first time I’ve read Matthew Licht and left wanting to read more from him. Thankfully I can because Salt have published his short collection, The Moose Show. Good times!

Rating: ★★★½☆

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.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).