Reviews

Struck

Stephen Osborne

One of the pleasures of the 3-Day Novel is the strong sense of participation given to its readers, who as they read can feel the book being written, a procedure that can be described as a kind of striving to continue ‘finding’ the story as time goes by inexorably and the pages turn: everything is constrained by the real and imagined circumference of seventy-two hours. A novel known to be written in three days by intention provides an element of suspense not found in other genres: we are aware of the author writing as we are aware of a tightrope walker performing without a net. The protagonist in Geoffrey Bromhead’s three-day novel Struck (winner of the 25th Annual 3-Day Novel Contest) is a drifter with a penchant for being struck by lightning, and with some practical experience of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and he reminds us of Slothrop, the hero of Gravity’s Rainbow (by Thomas Pynchon), a much longer novel constructed with the physics of falling bodies rather than the physics of quantum particles, which are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The procedure of story-finding in Struck appears on page 2 in a chance encounter between a little girl who is playing with a toy that we are told she will lose, and the protagonist, who gives her a ten-dollar bill in a sentence that goes on fearlessly to a moment in the future when her mother will find the money and use it to replace the lost toy. This sounds easy; it even looks easy; but it ain’t easy and it gets better and better. A satisfying read.

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Stephen Osborne

Stephen Osborne is a co-founder and contributing publisher of Geist. He is the award-winning writer of Ice & Fire: Dispatches from the New World and dozens of shorter works, many of which can be read at geist.com.


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The 19th Annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest

The writing contest whose name is almost as long as the entries! Deadline is May 20, 2024.

Contest

The 19th Annual Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest

The writing contest whose name is almost as long as the entries! Deadline is May 20, 2024.