Saturday, April 26, 2014

W is for When the World Was Full of People

"When the World Was Full of People" by Patricia Russo is kind of insane.  My first reaction to this story as a whole was "what?".

The first-person narrator has an incredible voice.  It's enthralling in the oddest sort of way.  He/she carries the story on his/her shoulders virtually alone.  The small number of other characters are interesting simply because they are depicted through the narrator's voice.

You have to read this story to understand the plot.  There is a sequence of events, but they don't really resolve any sort of conflict.  In fact, the whole concept of "conflict" in relation to this story are making my head spin.  There are several teeny-tiny conflicts splattered across the text.  It's just weird.

I like the setting of this story.  The epistolary first-person POV allows readers to know that the narration is from the future, a future very different from the present.  The setting being referred to in the past-tense is simple, yet serene.

At around 2,000 words, "When the World Was Full of People" is a fast read.  I'd recommend reading it just because it's so utterly mind-boggling without seeming mind-boggling until after you've read through the whole thing.  I'm still very confused and I think I've confused myself even more.

12 comments:

  1. This has to be one of the oddest recommendations I've read...and for that alone I went and read the story. And it's a weird story. But interesting. Worth the read so thank you for sending me over there. It presents more questions than answers. There is no real conflict. I really want to know what happened to all the people but that has absolutely nothing to do with the story itself which is an oddity all its own. And I want to know whether it is the same man at the end (just lying about his identity) or not (in which case was he lying at the start?). And...yeah wow. Cool story. Thank you for recommending it. :-)

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    1. No problem. I have a bunch more recommendations in my archives if you're looking for good (or bad) sci-fi, fantasy, or mystery.

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  2. Sounds like an awesome read! I like books that are mind-boggling and confusing, but I don't think I've read one that doesn't have that effect until the end. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll try to track it down some time :)

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    1. I linked the title of the story at the top of the post to the page on Daily Science Fiction where it's published. It's free to read.

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  3. Sounds interesting! Though I'm not too good with confusing books. :)

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    1. I don't suppose too many people are. Thanks for dropping by, Ms. McKendry.

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  4. Wow! Patrick - this is science fiction.
    I read this without the science fiction part in my mind, and I read it as the author having lost many people in his life; most of them now dead. I thought he was lamenting his brother also dead, having thought he'd seen him in the street. Although he knew this person wasn't his brother he just had to get a closer look out of curiosity.
    (People do imagine they see loved ones who have passed).
    Perhaps his brother had been run over in the street. These details wouldn't leave his mind.

    Isn't it strange how individuals can find a different interpretation for a story?
    Then I realized it was supposed to be science fiction - I'll have to read again.
    Great to find you on the A-Z - I'm following.

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    1. I hadn't realized that I didn't mention this story is science fiction. Sorry. But yeah, there are different interpretations to any story. Thanks for the follow.

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  5. Hello there. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the rest of the challenge!
    Entrepreneurial Goddess

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