Help me find this ridiculously obscure book.
September 23, 2013 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Help me find this ridiculously obscure book.

Posting for a friend:

Some time in the mid 90s, possibly at a school book sale, I stumbled across a paperback collection of short stories which I am 99% sure was titled "Shadows in the Light". There may or may not have been a subtitle as well. All of the stories were written by students, either high school, college, or possibly both. It was published in either the 70s or 80s. One of the stories was called "The Bell Tower" and described a young man going up into a bell tower at his school and shooting people. If I recall correctly, it painted him in a somewhat sympathetic light. Another one described a group of friends spending a beautiful, magical night on the beach, only to wake the next morning to find that one of them had died of a barbiturate overdose. I do not remember the title of this one.

Being the weird kid that I was, I read the shit out of this book. It was one of those books that captured my brain at exactly the right time and warped me (in a good way, probably). I loved it so much that, after reading it over and over, I lent it to anyone I could persuade to take it, just because I wanted them to GET me, man. Eventually, one of those people borrowed it and didn't return it. I really should have known better. Ever since, I've been trying to find another copy and have completely failed. I've googled every variation I can think of, but have found no evidence that this book ever existed. Amazon has been of no help, either.

It's been fifteen damn years and I am still thinking about this book. It's entirely possible that it was terrible, but I'd at least like to know. If any of you can help me get some closure on this, you will have my eternal gratitude.
posted by summit to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Was it this?
posted by jquinby at 6:36 PM on September 23, 2013

The Bell Tower seems like it was inspired by Charles Whitman, who did this at UT Austin in the 60's.
posted by brujita at 6:39 PM on September 23, 2013

You can also search within that book via googlebooks, which seems to confirm it's the right one.

Tower, e.g., which calls up a line about going up the bell tower with a rifle.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:43 PM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, forgot about googlebooks. Was trying to get a list of the TOC via other means. Huzzah for AskMefi!
posted by jquinby at 6:44 PM on September 23, 2013

Looks like "beach" shows up, too.
posted by jquinby at 6:48 PM on September 23, 2013

That's definitely it. Thanks!
posted by summit at 7:41 PM on September 23, 2013

Just for posterity, that's Shadows in the Light (Selections From Scholastic Writing Awards), edited by Betty Owen, 1979.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:54 PM on September 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

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