Short Story #124: The Madman by Oliver Duchemin

Title:  The Madman

Author:  Oliver Duchemin

Summary

Great French Short Stories edited by M. E. Speare.  The World Publishing Company, 1943James and Edwards are friends from their school years and have reunited to enjoy some time at Edward's house in the country.  While on the road, they pass a vehicle filled with people that live in the asylum and James is a little unnerved by one of the wards.  They arrive at the house which is rather uninviting and dilapidated.  James says he'll be fine so long as he doesn't hurt himself and ends up breaking his leg the next day.  He is required to stay in his room.  That night there is a break out in the asylum and an inmate makes his way to the house.  Stranded in the room, he finds that "madman at this window.  The story ends with the servant coming into the room, though it's unclear if James is dead or just been pushed toward insanity himself.  

Reflection

The story has some potential.  It consists of an ending that reminds me of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the well developed atmosphere does wonders to get readers feeling the darkness permeating this countryside.  However, it does feel a bit short and rushed without enough full development to lose one's self entirely.

Short Story #124 out of 365
Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  4/29/2014
Source:  Great French Short Stories edited by M. E. Speare.  The World Publishing Company, 1943.  You can find this story and others in this anthology at this resource.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.



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