by Patch O'Furr
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
“Here is another of my reviews that was published ten years ago, edited in a manner that I didn’t like. This is my original review, so it’s a bit different from the printed version.”
Atta; A Novel of a Most Extraordinary Adventure, by Francis Rufus Bellamy.
NYC, A. A. Wyn, Inc., September 1953, hardcover $3.00 (216 pages).
“It is with a singular bitterness that I begin this memoir of my youth.
Here at my table, west of the Mississippi, I can turn in my chair and gaze out my window at sixty acres of green hillside, orchard, and valley. They are the actual scene of the greater part of the adventures I am about to relate, adventures for which I myself can vouch.” (pg. 1)
Two pages later the narrator, Brokell, says these events happened forty years previously. 1953 minus forty years would be 1913, which would explain why he was riding about the countryside in a horse-and-buggy, and why he writes in such an old-fashioned, formal style.
Brokell is waiting in a flowery meadow with a box of candy for his betrothed. She is late, and after a half-hour he notices that red ants are crawling all over the candy. Infuriated (“Darn you, anyhow!” I said aloud.”), he picks up a rock and starts smashing the ants. Suddenly:
“For scarcely had my missile left my grasp before I was conscious of a hitherto unseen dark mass in the sky above me. Even as my own missile left my hand this mass became instantly larger in size and rushed down at me and the earth.” (pg. 7)