Dec 09 2014

A Review of Death in the Life of a Troll by Robert Tidwell

Death in the Life of a Troll by Robert Tidwell

Death in the Life of a Troll by Robert Tidwell

Story is nothing without having the characters to build the story upon. One of the most amazing things to me is the ability in a very short story to build a portrait in your thoughts of what a character is like, why they are who they are, and what drives them.

It isn’t always the main character that does this, many times it is the supporting characters that in their words and actions build up a world, a moment, an expressive work that makes it more than it first appears to be.

And what a path it is to tread upon…

The story tells of:

A drunken, homeless thug who is known around town as the Troll spends a day reminiscing over the death of his girlfriend, a Succubus, as a police officer narrates how Troll became known as a monster.

Tony’s life, at least a few moments of it, are told by those around him. His past haunts him every day and every day he is haunted. And in that comes the story of why Tony is who he is today.

This work is very much a film noir piece with all of the setting, atmosphere, characters and more. There’s so much thought put into the words that within a page you are pulled into this world, Tony’s life, and all that happens to him. It’s a deeply emotional read, so much remembrance comes and with it so much that goes wrong or continues to be wrong for Tony as the story goes on.

The cause behind all of this is Victoria, a Succubus that Tony once loved and is no longer. There really isn’t a lot said about her, but in a few short passages her character, her physical presence stands out very well and in doing so becomes an anchor around Tony’s life that pulls on his constantly.

She haunts him, there is no doubt of that, and in that haunting Tony does both good and not quite so good things. There is a deep scar in his personality, his world that will never heal and with that comes the core of this story. It’s a tale of loss and what that can do to someone. It’s a story about having no hope, no passion, no desire when everything is taken from you.

The amazing thing is that in such a short work, the story really stands out exceptionally well and in that I was really surprised. The author’s abilities in writing, not just in creating a story, but more creating a world, characters to care about, and to be held by, is a rare thing.

Four out of five pitchforks.

I’d love to see a longer story set in this world. I’d like to see more about Victoria than we do, what her background was, why she was with Tony… So many questions left unanswered but in spite of that, the story of Tony comes out true and clear.




  1. avatar

    Putting emphasis on the world of a story and on the characters, making everything real in such a short story doesn’t leave a lot of room for action. Of course, when the world is real and the people are completely realized, then so much action can be portrayed in so few words.

  2. avatar

    Losing a loved one can change some of the most fundamental parts of us. I’m impressed that they could convey that change in such a short story. I do wish that we could have gotten to know more about the succubus though.

  3. avatar

    The best kind really…


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