The Jim Hangovers is a short story by author Rodge Glass. It is part of an anthology of short stories, by many writers, set to come out early next year.
Under the Fable was given an exclusive look at a selection of the short stories going to be in the anthology. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to read two of the short stories to review. As you can see, I will be reviewing The Jim Hangovers in this post.
First of all: Brilliant title. I think it sets up the story perfect.
The narrator is a new parent, who, while feeding his son in the early hours of the morning, reflects on his friendship with Jim, a man he hasn’t seen in over eight years. We are shown that his friendship with Jim mostly consisted of nights out drinking, hence the brilliance of the title.
It took me a while to grasp who exactly Jim was to the narrator. For most of it I believed Jim was his father, until it is mentioned Jim could possibly be a father himself now. I kind of liked this ambiguity for most of the piece, as it made the story more exciting wondering just exactly who is Jim and how much are we going to find out about his character?
My absolute favourite part of this story is when the narrator reveals he and Jim used any occasion they could to drink. “The publication of Alice in Wonderland (2nd August, 1865) celebrated I can’t remember where.” I burst out laughing when reading this part; I just thought it was brilliant.
The ending of this story was shocking to me. The narrator explains how he and Jim were in a pub talking, though that was mostly Jim and the narrator gets up to go to the toilets but abruptly leaves the pub and Jim behind. This was the last time they saw each other. I was floored at this point. I totally believed it would be Jim who would cut all contact, but when this happened it gave a whole new perspective to the narrator and how he dumped Jim as soon as he got fed up of him.
In general, I believe this is an accurate representation of parenthood. I think everybody has witnessed the difficulty of being a new parent at some point in their lives. Even without children, it can be so easy to lose contact with people you consider your best friends, but when you have to work and look after a child, it becomes increasingly more difficult.
Though this anthology is about fatherhood, I believe this story in particular will resonate with everyone, not just fathers as everyone will have experienced losing contact with a friend or in some cases have been ditched by one.
I would definitely recommend The Jim Hangovers short story from this collection. It is outstandingly written and developed. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Hats off to Rodge Glass for writing a short story I actually enjoyed. That doesn’t happen a lot.
@mustbejlb (on Instagram and Twitter)
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