Some of Your Blood by author Theodore Sturgeon
Some of Your Blood is a once in a lifetime novella. It’s an epistolary novella told with a few different perspectives. It’s on many horror book lists but it also has elements of romance and coming of age.
The story begins and ends with a fourth wall break that directly addresses the reader and reminds us that the story is fiction. Don’t worry, George isn’t real, George can’t hurt himself or others…
The story starts with a young George who likes to hunt and trap animals in order to escape his troubled household. His father is abusive and his family is extremely poor. George is often told to go without food and not complain about it.
A situation like this often ends up in predictable ways. George ends up in a juvenille detention facility. There he discovers a luxury he’s never seen before. He has a warm bed every night, regular meals, and no one beating him. He loves it there.
When it comes time for him to be released he decides that he needs to maintain this sort of structure so he joins the Army. This is the perfect place for someone like George, he finds a home there.
However, he does find that the charm eventually wears off and he needs to indulge in his personal brand of stress relief, hunting. Leaving base to capture and kill small animals is not a typical activity and this is where the story takes a turn.
At about the halfway point in Some of Your Blood there is a narrative shift. This is where the story goes from intriguing to absolutely fascinating. It becomes a character study unlike any I’ve ever seen before.
From here there are different characters’ letters adding to the narrative. Each has their own distinct voice and adds value to the story as a whole. We learn more details about George’s past including a young woman who misses him desperately.
Some of Your Blood is a story of nuance. It does not hold the reader’s hand through events. It allows you to make assumptions and draw your own conclusions. It even requires that you pick an ending for yourself. This allows the reader to judge if George is good or bad in their minds and if he deserves a happy ending or a tragic one.
It’s the kind of book that gets better and better the more that you think about it. Details that went unnoticed at the beginning will suddenly make sense at the end. It cries out for multiple readings.
I hope to eventually read Some of Your Blood again and I’m certain I’ll pick up on more with each reading. I strongly recommend this short horror story to all genre fans.
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