What’s it all about?:
A genre-busting new short story from the No. 1 bestselling author of the Will Trent novels. (‘Remmy Rothstein Toes the Line’ is also available as part of a bundle with ‘Go Deep and ‘Necessary Women’.)
As an intrepid adjudicator of World Records, Mindy Patel has met lots of strange people in lots of strange places. But they’re no match for the Swampers of the Georgia bayou. Mindy has braved the oppressive August heat in search of Remmy Rothstein, who they call ‘The Cajun Jew’. If the photos are indeed accurate, she might be about to certify Remmy as the World Record Holder for Longest Tongue in the World . . . and maybe even the Widest!
First Mindy meets Remmy’s half-brother, Buell Rabinowitz, surely the world’s only one-legged, albino, Jewish African American. Then she makes the acquaintance of Remmy’s mother, a foul-mouthed old woman with an impressive beard. None of which prepares her for an eyeful of Remmy: a man who measures up to his singular reputation in ways that will change the course of Mindy’s life.
What did I think?:
This short story is going to be ever so hard to review but I’m going to try my best! First of all, as you might already know if you’re a regular visitor to my blog, I’m a big fan of Karin Slaughter. I love her writing style, her dark humour and the way she’s not afraid to go to places other authors might shy away from. I couldn’t respect her more as an author or a woman yet I’m afraid I found myself not really loving Remmy Rothstein. It had a lot of interesting stylistic quirks, which I really enjoyed but somehow by the end, I was left feeling a little unsure. I could have gone right back to the start and re-read it but unfortunately, I wasn’t even bothered enough to do this.
The story is told from the point of view of Mindy Patel, an adjudicator for the World Records and she is writing back to her boss in the form of emails as she flits about the country, witnessing some very odd world record attempts. The main crux of the narrative follows her journey to the swamps of the Deep South and an intriguing man called Remmy Rothstein who claims to have either the longest (or the widest) tongue in the world. She of course must verify his claim so she heads off with her trusty measuring tape in tow to see if Remmy can claim a new world record. However, she doesn’t expect to meet a man and his strange family who have quite a different and lasting effect on her than she could have believed – and it’s nothing to do with the tongue.
I hope I’ve described this little story accurately, of course with Karin Slaughter you are going to get a few surprises and twists in the tale and I always enjoy seeing what she’s going to surprise me with next. Sadly, there weren’t as many “Oh My God” moments as I’ve found with her previous stories/novels and this is perhaps why I’m a little disappointed with the tale as a whole. I’m also wondering if maybe I just didn’t get it? I left the story feeling quite confused and racking my brain to try and figure it all out, unfortunately this means that it has had an effect on the rating I’ve chosen to give. As always, Karin’s characteristic humour is evident throughout the story but for some reason, I felt she was trying a little too hard with this one and it didn’t come off as entirely natural which was a shame. Ending on a positive note, I did love the structure of this narrative, especially with the little footnotes about previous world records told by Mindy that you could read at the end of each chapter. I felt it added something a bit unusual to the story in general and a few really did make me smile. Again, if you’ve read this short story and have the same opinion or a different opinion as me I’d love to hear from you – especially if you can shed more light on the ending for me?
Would I recommend it?:
Star rating (out of 5):
NEXT SHORT STORY: Why The Yew Tree Lives So Long by Kate Mosse from the collection The Mistletoe Bride And Other Haunting Tales.