Reviewed: 2013-11-25 - (Review Updated: 2017-10-09)
Lubrican is a prolific author who is approaching 250 stories here at SOL. This one is easily one of his 10 best. It is one of the highest rated stories here (as I write this), and, IMHO, it is underrated.
The story is about Brenda, a 16 year old dying of brain cancer. She's very resilient (like a lot of Lubrican's heroines) and has accepted that she's dying with far more equanimity than her parents
After getting the bad news from her doctors, the parents hear about a last wish foundation and, trying to make what time she has left a little more memorable, use it to get her to a working cattle ranch that caters to city dwellers looking for a dude ranch experience. All that Brenda wants, however, is a simple trail ride. Just a chance to get away from everything and be in the outdoors for a couple of days. And the only one available to take her is the 26 year old ranch owner who is still recovering from the devastation caused by the accidental death of his wife and five year old son.
The dynamic created as both protagonists try to work through the huge holes left by these realities makes for a very memorable story. The author treats both characters with a degree of sensitivity that makes the reader want to rail against the real injustices in life. All this without straining credulity, which is something most erotic stories with such imbalances fall victim to.
Everything fits in this story, even the erotic scenes. No. Make that ESPECIALLY the erotic scenes. And that, combined with the above, makes Last Wish Blues a gem. If any of it was missing, it would take away from the story's impact. Sort of like a picture puzzle missing a bunch of pieces.
This is Lubrican at his best. I stayed up all night reading it the first time back in 2008. Just couldn't put it down. And I've lost count of the number of times that I've reread it in the intervening seven years. 10s all around on this one.
We are occasionally faced with literary perfection. This story is a fine example.
Not one single thing about this tale should be altered. After reading the entire thing in one sitting, I am left feeling improved by having done so.
The synopsis is enough to tell you what the likely plot is. The young girl, dying of cancer visits a ranch to fulfill her 'last wish.' Whilst doing that, she and the dashing rancher who is tasked with looking after her fall in love.
The descriptive passages are first rate. The characters all have a need to be in the story and exist most beautifully, especially the two lead characters who are drawn with a loving attention to detail.
Well deserved full marks!
Ranching is a serious business; long hours, hard work, and very little return on a monstrous investment. So, when an idea crops up to save Bob's ranch, he takes the idea and runs with it.
Sad to say his wife and young son are killed in an avalanche, and he barely exists leaving the running of the "dude" ranch to his faithful staff. Then a "Wish" foundation begs for his help in granting a beautiful young sixteen year old terminally ill patient her last wish.
Now I keep telling everyone I'm a sucker for a truly wonderful love story, and , in my opinion, this is it!
Have fun reading this tale by the old master, and carry a warm wash cloth... You'll need it!
Master storyteller BOB does it again with this story that deals with cancer and with life in a sensitive, well-crafted tale.
Making a romantic tale out of a story of a dying teenager without becoming morbid is something to behold. Not only is there young love but with all the symbols of the old West to jerk one's emotions about in the most pleasurable way.
I'm going to nominate this one for a Clitorides Award.