Thursday, December 28, 2017

"Wake Me When It's Over" by Robert Garner McBrearty

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, January-February 2018, p. 137–38

Avid fiction readers want to buy into everything writers do in telling stories. The late writer and teacher John C. Gardner described the writer's task as creating a vivid, continuous dream. Revealing sections or whole stories to be dreams, though, can make readers feel cheated, rudely awakened.

In twenty-two paragraphs across two pages, Robert Garner McBrearty uses dreams to present protagonist Samuels' suspicion his wife is having an affair. Along with Samuels, though, we become unable to tell dream from reality, not waking us, but locking us in.

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