Here There Be Tygers

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Short Stories Challenge – Here There Be Tygers by Stephen King from the collection Skeleton Crew

Published November 21, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s Here There Be Tygers all about?:

Here There Be Tygers was first published in 1968 in the Spring issue of Ubris magazine, and then appeared in King’s Skeleton Crew collection in 1985. It is a short story about a young boy who is desperate to go to the bathroom but is too terrified of his teacher to ask. When he eventually gets to go, he believes there is a tiger lurking there.

What did I think?:

Shock horror – I finally have something negative to say about Stephen King’s work! Regular readers of my blog will know that I am an avid King reader/fan, so to have something he wrote that I’m not that enthusiastic about is extraordinary to say the least. The first story in this collection is The Mist which I reviewed a few months back now, so coming to this incredibly short story is a bit of a shock to the system. It’s very short. As a result, it doesn’t really leave room for much of a plot or a character development so King has to give everything to the reader in just a few pages. Basically, as mentioned above, a young boy is desperate to go to the bathroom while in class, but has a sadistic teacher who likes to mock what should be a normal bodily function, makes it very difficult for him to go until he states that he actually does indeed need to “urinate.” To the boy’s horror as he enters the bathroom (which is in the basement, very King-esque and creepy) there is a tiger there who makes it clear to him that if he attempted to “urinate,” he would tear him to shreds. Eventually, another classmate and then the teacher herself turns up wondering what is taking him so long and the boy walks back to his class a lot more relaxed and relieved (probably physically and mentally!) than previously. You can probably guess why.

This isn’t a bad story, it’s just nowhere near how good I know King can write, but I should cut him a bit of slack, this was said to be one of the first stories he ever wrote, whilst in high school. A lot of people have wondered at a deeper meaning or symbolism in the writing, but personally, I don’t think there was too much hidden from us, what you see is what you get. I believe the tiger is somewhat symbolic of the teacher herself preventing her young charge from going to the bathroom and at the end, the boy is obviously physically relieved but it also seems that his emotional problems and fear in that department have come to an end. The title of the story comes from the phrase “Here there be dragons,” used by medieval cartographers which was used as a warning for the unexplored places on a map. It is an okay story in general, but should definitely not be used as an introduction to King’s work!

Would I recommend it?:

Maybe.

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

NEXT SHORT STORY: Sister Hills by Nathan Englander from the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

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Challenge: Short Stories October to December

Published October 4, 2013 by bibliobeth

What better way to end the year then by enjoying some more short stories? Here  is how I plan to spend the next three months:

Week beginning  7th October

Mr E. Morse, BA OXON (Failed) by Colin Dexter, from the collection The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, Volume 7

Week beginning 14th October

Pilgrims by Julie Orringer from the collection How To Breathe Underwater

Week beginning 21st October

Her First Ball by Katherine Mansfield from the collection Stories To Get You Through The Night

Week beginning 28th October

Here There Be Tygers by Stephen King from the collection Skeleton Crew

Week beginning 4th November

Sister Hills by Nathan Englander from the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

Week beginning 11th November

Countless Stones by Lucy Wood from the collection Diving Belles

Week beginning 18th November

The Sea of Trees by Randy Taguchi from the collection Fujisan

Week beginning 25th November

Reeling for the Empire by Karen Russell from the collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Week beginning 2nd December

The Red-Headed League by Arthur Conan Doyle from the collection The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Week beginning 9th December

The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall from the collection The Beautiful Indifference

Week beginning 16th December

The Strange Career of Dr. Raju Gopalarajan by Rajesh Parameswaran from the collection I Am An Executioner

Week beginning 23rd December

Things That Fall From The Sky by Kevin Brockmeier from the collection Things That Fall From The Sky

Week beginning 30th December

In Winter The Sky by Jon McGregor from the collection This Isn’t The Sort of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You