If you haven’t read Tobias Wolff’s classic short story, “Bullet In The Brain,” we urge you to do it now. Go ahead, we’ll wait. If you have read it, then you know how completely unforgettable the story is, with vivid characters, a dangerous scenario gone very wrong, and the Bartlebian response that sets the narrative in motion.
First appearing in Wolff’s short story collection The Night In Question, the story is required reading in creative writing programs, and a favorite among writers and writing teachers. T. Coraghessan Boyle named the story as a favorite and gave a wonderful reading of it on The New Yorker Podcast.
You can also hear Wolff read “Bullet In The Brain” over at This American Life.
And while it is often lamented that the book is always better than the movie, there is a wonderful short film based on Wolff’s story that is well worth watching. Starring Tom Noonan, and the awesome Dean Winters (The Mayhem guy, and character actor from OZ, 30 Rock and others), you can see it in two parts: