Antrim writes about people who hurt and are grieving lost loves, ruined lives, and often
their dispossession in a world they have lost familiarity with. The characters seem to inhabit the
spaces between words, and they are usually in pain but unable to identify its source. Many of the
stories deal with people who have psychiatric illnesses and rely on medication or frequent
hospitalizations to function. There is a common theme in many of the stories. After the loss,
characters are trying to start anew, to rebuild their lives with someone else. This does not appear
to work. Numerous abilities tie the characters in the author's first group of stories, they
drink or bestow drink appease themselves, they grieve from pitiable psychological
health, they finance greatly in treatment; or, an experiment in high-concept creative
searches if they don't have the money, finally, they cannot find contentedness
The emerald light in the air is a collection of short stories by Donald Antrim. The book is
bizarre, pleasurable, entertaining, and sad. His characters struggle with loneliness and addiction.
The book consists of seven obscure and edgy stories, which were mainly issued in the
mandate that now appears on the New Yorker. Applicably, they take place within a city,
vibrant, medicalized sphere in which people voice their desires. Donald Antrim's group of
stories unwraps with a man named Billy driving to a dump in the town to dispose of his wife's
paintings and a box of his childhood comic books beside him is a .30–06 rifle. We are told,
worryingly, that Billy "wasn't a gun nut, and he didn't hurt." (Antrim 2)Later, in one of the story's
many recurrences to Billy's time in a psychiatric clinic, he remembers a scorching feeling that he
felt in his sanctuary, "a beckoning, an itch, a need for a bullet."
The symbolic groove that all these men's' lives are trapped in is sensationalized by Billy
lashing off a rural Virginia road and slipping ten feet down into a gulley, but Billy throws away
the stasis and chooses to drive his 1958 Mercedes down the rocky bed. In amid electro-shock
treatment flashbacks, Billy is signaled down by a boy who, for some motive, thinks Billy is the
medic who has come to help his dying mother. The boy takes him to their conked-out shed, and
there, Billy is encountered with a woman who recaps him of his sick mother.
Billy is not a medic, but like almost all the other men in this group, he does have drugs
concealed in his pocket. Finally, he says to the bothered husband, "I can help her." (Antrim
86)This flash serves not only as Billy's restoration but also as an assertion for the curative
controls of Antrim's art. The closing paragraphs of this story are too beautiful to describe, and
the reader is left with the feeling that they have just witnessed the writer's moment of salvation.
The triumph of the script lies in the tone, and the description expression is humorous
and gloomy, neat and eccentric, ruthless and compassionate, cautious, and secretive. Antrim's
style is accurate, orderly, and can create an intense intellect of belonging; this is a perfect
way to define Antrim's liking for short sentences and definite turns of expressions.
However, this does not say the stories are simple, as verified by the group's difficulty of
classification, the crowd of interlocking subjects, and Antrim's remarkable skill to set and
Antrim, Donald. The Emerald Light in the Air: Stories. , 2015. Print.