Reviewing “The Hit Man”

Hey >.>  “The Hit Man” is a genius story written by T.C. Boyle in 1977. This blog post is only made possible by his mind and literary work of course. So, this is what happened…

It was Reading Across America Day, and I needed a juicy book to sink my talons into. I went to my teacher– the magnificent Clinnesha Sibley– who had recommended me a book of short stories by a man named T.C. Boyle, the book titled The Human Fly and Other Stories. Next thing I know I’m losing my marbles over the stories I’m reading from the book. 

From the anthology of short stories, I chose “The Hit Man” to write about today because it is so simple yet so conveying. (Above is a link which provides an online copy of the story. You won’t get a virus by clicking it, just a great read. Here it is again in case you missed it the first time 😉

A Disclaimer: I am no professional story reviewer. I am simply sharing what I stumbled upon and thought to be a bomb read.

“The Hit Man” is a compelling story of a man’s entire life. The main awe factor is the way in which the story is written, which is in these sections. As you may have seen or read from the links provided, we are introduced into the story by an unnamed narrator who recalls moments from The Hit Man’s life. (The main character is named The Hit Man.) He continues revealing this mysterious Hit Man by small snippets of information. Some sections are on the chunkier side and others are only one sentence, and that’s all they need.

This works so well. What I thought at first would become choppy, turned into the opposite. The story flowed effortlessly which was achieved by keeping all the fragments of The Hit Man’s life in chronological order. Sections tying into one another helped execute Boyle’s plan as well.

One example of this is with the “Peas” section. I thought The Hit Man becoming frustrated with peas was Boyle trying to show The Hit Man’s humanity. It was even kind of funny to me. However, after reading on to the “Moods” section, I see it is his short temper that was being spotlighted.

There was also a lot of imagery that compared The Hit Man to the Grim Reaper. Throughout, The Hit Man is constantly being recognized by his black hood. Another reference is when The Hit Man receives a golden scythe trophy. He also is thought to be this hellish character as he “pets” a three-headed dog after raking leaves on his lawn and igniting them.

This only further helps build the personality file of who The Hit Man is, an unstoppable and dangerous man. I think it was a smart choice to do this because since there isn’t much space for character building through the section storytelling, it helps readers to already have a foundation laid. That way, they are able to quickly absorb The Hit Man’s aura and move on to finding out even more about him.

There is one thing I didn’t quite get…I hate to even say this…It was the “Talk Show” section. I don’t have much to say on it because I just wasn’t sure what its purpose was. Also, I was curious about the logistics behind The Hit Man revealing his identity; however, it was still very interesting to read.

Overall, “The Hit Man” was such a fun thing to start with for my journey into reading more often. Of course, I highly recommend you give it a try. Be safe out there and try not to make too many enemies because you never know…just kidding. But seriously be safe 

Author: Diego Mendez

Just a gay aquarius taking the day one iced coffee at a time. I'm not basic though, I like chocolate almond milk too >.<