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Category Archive for 'Good Scent'

Oct. 18th- “Mid-Autumn” by Butler This story was at first a little difficult for me to get a grasp of because it’s got so many narrative layers to it. Having a story within a story within a story isn’t terribly strange for this collection, though, as the majority of these stories are told to us by the […]

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Secrets

Like all of Butler’s other stories in A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain, “Mid-Autumn” focuses on the struggles of being Vietnamese American.  I really enjoyed this story because it allowed the reader to connect with the first person narrator at the very beginning.  The opening sentence makes the reader feel like they are being […]

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“Missing”

The voice in Butler’s “Missing” is unique when compared to the rest of the stories in his collection because it is that of an American man who became acclimated to Vietnamese culture. In all of the previous stories we have read in Butler’s A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain, the narrators have been Vietnamese […]

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“Missing”

Butler’s ending story is different from the others in his collection. It is set in Vietnam and the narrator is an American. Before it, “Salem” also returns to Vietnam, though in a different time period and with a Vietnamese narrator. Originally, “Salem” and “Missing” were not a part of the collection. So, what do they […]

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In this story, Butler has taken spooky to a new level. Ho Chi Minh or Nguyn Ai Quoc, a communist revolutionary leader, is appearing to the dying narrator. He died before the outcome for the Vietnam War was determined. The narrator had worked with him in a European confectioner’s kitchen. In addition to these apparitions, […]

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“The American Couple”

In “The American Couple,” Butler is able to convey similarities between two very different cultures through the eyes of the narrator, Gabrielle. The story is set in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which is a refreshing and unexpected change from Butler’s usual choice of setting, Louisiana or Vietnam. Although the narrator and her husband, Vinh, are originally […]

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Butler, “The American Couple”

Butler, “The American Couple” I really enjoy Butler’s stories. His stories always take me away from reality and plants me right smack in the middle of some other part of the world. Butler made a lot of interesting choices while writing. The first point of interest is the fact, Butler, did not use a fairytale […]

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Butler’s “Preparation”

This story stood out to me much more than Butler’s other stories in the collection. I felt that it was much more warm and inviting, which is probably due to the more natural narration. The narrator has clearly picked up English and is able to use it fluently. The language still keeps the Vietnamese culture […]

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Butler, “Preparation”

“Preparation” is about a woman’s jealousy over the beauty of her friend. A simple enough reason, yet Butler richly describes the deep- seeded emotions of the main character through the mirror of death. I think this story is cleverly written. Instead of it being sad, because her friend dies, it’s really about a woman who […]

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Shoe Me the Meaning of Being Lonely

      Butler has an uncanny ability to make the reader believe in miracles. He mixes just the right amount of fantasy with a sobering dose of reality to create stories that are powerful and engaging. His characters speak with such authority and certainty that even the most outlandish of Butler’s stories, ” A Ghost Story,” […]

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