Freedom Read #111

Bought yesterday, read within 24 hours. 120 scant pages of fairly large print, plus a 6 page essay on looking out of his window on the Covid-world in April 2021.

This is one of those that you know if a lesser name turned up clutching this manuscript, it / they would get laughed out of the publisher’s. As it is, I’m glad it has made it to see the light of day.

It is scratchy like your brain after too little sleep or too many drugs. It takes an “everyday” and by quick jerking turns renders it anything but, and the characters try to assimilate what as happened…

One couple is flying back to the states from Europe, where they intend to meet up with another couple at their house, to watch the Super Bowl, with a fifth friend along as well. As the plane is coming into land there is apparently a massive catastrophic systems failure…and the thing plunges and skids its way to a standstill on the runway. At the same time, the neighbourhood where the friends live, is plunged into darkness.

“People began to appear in the streets, warily at first and then in a spirit of release, walking, looking, wondering, women and men, an incidental cluster of adolescents, all escorting each other through the mass insomnia of this inconceivable time.”

The book can be summarised by the phrase “all the screens went blank“.

It is edgy and asks questions about our dependencies and assumptions. Whether it is really a novel, rather than say, a 50 page short story, is someone else’s call.

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