I'm reading 3 different books right now off and on. And the reason I'm reading 3, is because I'm finding 2 of them, The Road to Omaha and To Catch A Falling Spy, pretty boring. I'm just not connecting. So I picked up a book of Edgar Allen Poe short stories and read the first one.
Here is what Poe thinks is a good story.
In Jerusalem, in the time of the Romans, some Pharisees needed to get a lamb for a sacrifice. It was necessary to purchase the lamb from Gentiles, and the transaction was supervised by Roman soldiers. The way the transaction worked is they would lower a basket with silver down a wall at the edge of town, the gentiles would take the silver, put a lamb in the basket and Pharisee's would raise the basket back up. That way they didn't have to mingle too much. Add some conversation and some other observations, and you have the plot of this story.
So....they go to the wall and lower the silver, and wait. It's misty, so they can't really see the ground (it's a couple hundred feet below, anyway), and after awhile they worry that they are going to be cheated. But eventually they feel weight on the basket and they begin to pull it up. They're all happy, but it's misty and they can't really see the lamb until it's near the top. Of course when they finally do see it, it's not a lamb at all. It is a pig. The Pharisee's are disgusted, and they dump it out head first, to fall a couple of hundred feet down onto the heads of the gentiles below.
Well, it's not like the pig had any life ambitions. And I suppose the gentiles, if they had any sense, had already scattered.
So it's kind of an odd, sick, weird little story, very Edgar Allen Poe. But those few pages, hard to read as they were with the stilted 19th century way of writing, blew the other two books I'm reading out of the water.
I may not finish those books. It'll be an effort.
P.S. At 6:54 PM EDT in the USA, it ocurred to me to change the title of this post to something that at least had some passing reference to Edgar Allen Poe. So I did.