From time to time I read two authors that I regard as genial storytellers. I am not telling names, just because… Anyway, at least one of them is quite obvious.
The first is a Russian author. His stories are very simple, based in one or two characters with a rich, realistic and complex psychological existence. For me, the final result is a dense message not immediately evident.
The second is a contemporaneous author writing more elaborated stories, in fantastic sceneries, involving a great deal of psychological nuances (reactions under stress and fear being his best). At the end, it’s a single simple message that lingers.
I’ve been a faithful reader of both. I stopped reading the second because I felt the need of change. A few days ago, while watching The Shawshank Redemption, I admired, once again, his technique of passing a very simple message through a very intricate story. The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist (another recent movie from the same director, I think), are opposite stories on the same theme: hope. The first is about a man who, despite adversity, never lost hope; the second shows a man with the same strong character as the Shawshank hero, but he loses hope in the last minutes and because of that his battle is lost.
After The Mist, I felt like watching Shawshank again, and instantly understood why. Besides, hope is one of my favorite themes.