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Imagine Getting Away... by Joseph Thompson

PostPosted: November 19, 2009, 05:56:32 PM
by davidsonhero
This is a bleak and depressing tale, the study of a man pushed to the edge of sanity by the daily drudgery of the cubicle life.

The use of the pomegranate and the imagery surrounding it and Esau eating it and the result was the strongest part of the story for me. The dreariness of everything else in Esau's life causes the red of the pomegranate and the explosive experience of eating it to stand out even more. But the ending had an eeriness about it as well.

A character study of someone overcome by monotony is a difficult thing to undertake without it becoming monotonous in itself. I think Joseph Thompson does a good job in this story of dealing with the subject matter while keeping the readers interest.

Hero

Imagine getting away...

PostPosted: December 02, 2009, 05:58:10 PM
by bottomdweller
Thank gosh there are people who really know how to put words onto paper. I LOVE the details in this piece and the way the sentences are put together. I can easily envision the character's surrounding and actions.
For instance - "As her lips moved around words like focus and productivity, Esau studied the photo collage..." "There was a lurch and the subway train shot out of the station into Wednesday morning."
"He didn't live vicariously through his clients. A different department handled processing the returns." How sad not to even know what you're missing.
When his boss says, "If a new experience doesn't stimulate you, then we have to to discuss our other options." There cubicle life is, in a nutshell. You give your freaking company 14 years of your life, and you're still only as good as your last sale. Man, I can feel the drugery of his cubicle life like a flame on my fingertips.
"The green-grey bills with faces frowning deeply..." most people don't even realize there are two colors to the American dollar bill.
Anyway - I could quote passage after passage in this story that I love - but read it yourself...It's definately worth the time.

getting away

PostPosted: December 02, 2009, 06:43:38 PM
by rick tornello
And if you travel long and far enough, theoretically, you return to the same spot. It's a small universe for Esau.
RT

universality

PostPosted: December 03, 2009, 10:38:13 AM
by bottomdweller
I keep attempting to impress upon readers that a good sci fi story should speak to issues beyond just what gadgets we may have in the future. A good Sci Fi tale should also bring up issues like the effect of technology upon humans in the future and the continuity of human emotion and needs in the future - at least within the next two centuries, say. I think this story speaks to that quiet desperation which was as relevant two millenia ago - and will be common (probably) in the near future.
Literary critics tend to dismiss Sci Fi because they see us as laserguns and holodecks. Sci Fi can be so much more than that. And I think this story captures some of that continuity and universality.

PostPosted: December 03, 2009, 02:34:20 PM
by unforgibbon
Agree with Bottomdweller here. Again.

Strong work. Really strong. Well written and well paced.

However, I think we could've done without the phone call at the end. It's a device-y, and the point is well made without it.