Read The Ambush by Donna Tartt Online


Short story published in Tin House, vol. 7, #2.A young girl befriends a newcomer to the neighborhood and grapples with fallout from the Vietnam War....

Title : The Ambush
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 19547499
Format Type : PDF
Number of Pages : 391 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Ambush Reviews

  • Fran
    2018-11-21 11:07

    Grieving the death of a loved one can take many forms. Seven year old Tim, with the aid of eight year old Evie, acts out different battle scenarios trying to come to grips with his father's death in Vietnam. Daily barrages of firefights continue for hours on end. While Tim's behavior deteriorates, other family members turn inward. "The Ambush" by Donna Tartt is a multi-layered window into the action or inaction caused by personal loss.

  • Annet
    2018-11-28 04:16

    One word: Brilliant. What a story...!I'm a big fan of Donna Tartt and the books she has written are pretty substantial in size. But now I know she can write short stories too. Very excited when I found this collection of short stories via Goodreads, wow.... The Ambush has the same broody atmosphere her books have. You just know something is going to happen that is not going to be very good... It's the story of an 8-year old girl Evie, who meets a 7-year old boy Tim, whose father was killed in Vietnam. It all starts out with them playing out his father's death in Vietnam in the garden of Tim's grandmother. A weird play by kids, but seemingly innocent. And things go from there... Telling more would be spoiling. A must-read for Donna Tartt fans and more, you can find it here: I met Tim - who, in spite of everything I'm about to tell you, would be my best friend for the next four or five years - my mother warned me on the way over to his grandmother's house that I had to be nice to him. "I mean it, Evie. And don't mention his father."

  • karen
    2018-12-11 06:11

    WELCOME TO DECEMBER PROJECT!last year, amy(other amy) tipped me off to this cool thing she was doing: the short story advent calendar, where you sign up to this thingie here and you get a free story each day. i dropped the ball and by the time i came to my senses, it had already sold out, so for december project, i'm going rogue and just reading a free online story a day of my choosing. this foolhardy endeavor is going to screw up my already-deep-in-the-weeds review backlog, so i don't think i will be reviewing each individual story "properly." i might just do a picture review or - if i am feeling wicked motivated, i will draw something, but i can't be treating each short story like a real book and spending half my day examining and dissecting it, so we'll just see what shape this project takes as we go.and if you know of any particularly good short stories available free online, let me know! i'm no good at finding them myself unless they're on the site, and i only have enough at this stage of the game to fill half my calendar. <--- that part is no longer true, but i am still interested in getting suggestions!DECEMBER 16"It's an ugly world," she said. "An ugly, stinking world."another wonderful donna tartt surprise. not surprising that it was wonderful, but it's a true christmas miracle to think you've read all the donna tartt there was and to then discover SECRET SHORT STORIES BY DONNA TARTT FOR FREE ON THE INTERNET!! what other secrets does internet hold? let's find out together!read it for yourself here: 1DECEMBER 2DECEMBER 3DECEMBER 4DECEMBER 5DECEMBER 6DECEMBER 7DECEMBER 8DECEMBER 9DECEMBER 10DECEMBER 11DECEMBER 12DECEMBER 13DECEMBER 14DECEMBER 15DECEMBER 17DECEMBER 18DECEMBER 19DECEMBER 20DECEMBER 21DECEMBER 22DECEMBER 23DECEMBER 24DECEMBER 25DECEMBER 26DECEMBER 27DECEMBER 28DECEMBER 29DECEMBER 30DECEMBER 31

  • Andrew Smith
    2018-11-27 08:58

    I love it when I come across freebie short stories written by writers I admire. True, you’re not going to get the depth of story or learn to love or hate the characters therein to the same extent as in a full length novel, but the trade off is that it’s likely to pack a punch and deliver a quick, satisfactory interlude to your day. And this one delivers just that.There’s no time for a build up, you’re straight in. A young girl visits the house of a boy she doesn’t know – Seven-year-old Tim is the grandson of a friend of her grandmother. She’s warned not to ask the boy about his dad who was killed in the Vietnam War, quite recently. However, it transpires that Tim is keen on re-enacting the event – he playing the part of his father.The few players in this story are well framed and the interactions and behaviours of the children feel true, if a little strange. But then again, who is to say they’re a little strange? I’ve no idea how I would have reacted to such a cataclysmic event at such a young age. It’s a thought provoking piece and it certainly kept me interested for the short time it took to finish the story. Tartt is a classy writer and I’d have expected no less from her. What it’s really done though is to further whet my appetite for her next full length novel.Link:

  • Maureen
    2018-11-21 07:51

    When 8 year old Evie becomes friends with newcomer 7 year old Tim, she's told not to ask about his father, who was killed in Vietnam. People are worried about the effect it might have on him, but Tim is more than happy to talk about his father, and soon has Evie acting out scenes from Vietnam and in particular his father's death scene. The firefights continue daily, and become ever more frantic. Tim's behaviour gets increasingly worse, but his mother and grandmother are unwilling to chastise him, and leave him to grieve in the only way he knows how.It's always difficult for me to review a short story as there is never enough depth of feeling for the characters and background, but the author has done a good job in this case, of getting straight to the nitty gritty. Ultimately though, it confirmed my views about prejudice - that whatever form it takes, it's never pretty.

  • Pat
    2018-11-15 10:08

    4 starsA short story and one where the ending is maybe not so clear. For me, I interpreted this story as a boy trying to come to terms with the death of his father in Vietnam. Tim is constantly re-enacting war scenes to try and make sense of his loss. His new friend, Evie, goes along with play-acting war. Tim's mother and grandmother are background characters who are also grappling with loss and the changes in their lives. The ending shows how each of them in this small family of three is coming to terms with the death of father, husband and son; and how those in the community cannot come close to understanding. Poignant story.

  • Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
    2018-12-12 09:19

    4 Stars I will admit to a little bit of scepticism regarding Tartt’s ability to hammer out a concise short story. While I simply adored both The Secret History and The Goldfinch, the reasons that both these novels worked for me – melodic, shattering, flowing prose that weaves into the peaks and valleys of my mind’s jumbled mess of life experiences – are precisely why I worried she would not do well in a genre which often requires that the most impact be infused into a short number of words. In simple, it is style which I did not expect Tartt to excel at. However, The Ambush surprised me. This was a really well written short story. It manages to meld Tartt’s talent for drawing multiple vivid and compelling aspects out of one story with the precision required to wrap a story up in a short timeframe. A story of an unusual friendship, which stems from a young girl befriending a troubled young boy desperately coping with the loss of his father by mimicking the situation of his father’s last moments. It’s a shattering, multi-layered short story that can be looked at from several different angles. None of which are overly pleasant.

  • Thomas Strömquist
    2018-11-29 08:54

    Delicious short by Donna Tartt. I have two more stacked up and I'll see how long I can keep away from those. Writing's five-star of course, but the length of the piece is an obstacle to full-on immersion - it's just over too soon! I'm not going to do a synopsis, the title is adequate and now just read it!

  • Regina Fleck
    2018-11-27 11:14

    "Tartt" rhymes with "art".

  • Ana Rînceanu
    2018-11-18 05:01

    Ambiguity may be this short stories best asset. While Tim misses his father, he feels good when playing war convincingly even at the expense of others getting hurt. Tim's mother recognizes that her son's behaving badly, but does she ignore it out of grief or fear of his grandmother asking them to leave the house. Is Evie a good or bad child? Children need to play games so as to understand the world better, but I can't say with certainty what those two learned.

  • Scott
    2018-11-20 04:52

    A boy and girl bond and become friends through playing “war,” specifically Vietnam. Tim, whose father died in Vietnam, is a stoic little boy who daily wants to pretend to be in the war. He has recently moved with his widowed mother to his father’s mother, who lives next door to Evie, a little girl. Evie is warned not ask about Tim’s father but the first thing Tim says to Evie is that his father had died in Vietnam and asks her if she would like to act it out. They do this for some time and then get into a little trouble at the end. I don’t think it would be appropriate to reveal the surprise ending. Tim is the reason I enjoyed this short story by Donna Tartt. He is a determined unwavering steadfast little boy who I envision to one day join the military and resolutely take very direct orders while implementing them to the fullest of his abilities. The story is not directly about Vietnam but it does have a slight anti-war sentiment. The Ambush tells the story of a boy longing for his father and the only way he can remember him by is acting out the way he died. This a very well written and original short story that I will certainly re-read.

  • Lorrie
    2018-11-28 09:08

    This was an odd little story that left me wondering just what Tim's mother was really like. Was she grieving, was she street smart, was she mentally ill? Why wouldn't she let Evie use the phone to call 911? I wish the story would have been longer.On another thought, Tim & Evie ambushed Tim's grandmother when she was coming down the porch steps with the cake, but then again Tim's mother ambushed Evie when she went into the house to call 911. Ms. Tartt was trying to suggest many of the faces of evil, I think.

  • Steven
    2018-12-09 10:57

    Heard this one on a recent Selected Shorts podcast and when I saw that it was freely available on the internet, I decided to read it instead.Really very good. Two kids, Evie (8) and Tim (7), spend their summer days playing in the yard of southern town. Except, the boy recently lost his father in Vietnam. The kids are all too eager to act out what they know of what is going on there. Short story, but richly drawn.

  • Badseedgirl
    2018-12-08 08:16

    This was an odd little tale about how different people deal with death differently.

  • Heidi
    2018-12-10 03:07

    I was enjoying this, and even laughed some. But it ended tragically. I would read some of Tartt's other short stories.

  • Robin Woodcock
    2018-11-25 07:04

    My book club read this and three other Donna Tartt short stories for our last get together. I liked The Christmas Pageant better. This one wasn't bad, but I didn't enjoy it as much. If you love Tartt, check it out since it's one more piece of writing by her and it won't take you long to cover, but I wouldn't recommend it as a Tartt entry point.

  • Tosact Limitet
    2018-12-01 05:12

    wanted to read

  • Aseel
    2018-12-15 08:06

    I've played and replayed this moment a lot in my mind over the years; and it all happened so quickly that even in memory it goes by too fast, I wince at it, knowing I can't stop it.

  • Kristin ❋extols death with luminescent brilliance❋
    2018-11-14 08:18

    Read it here: The Ambush