Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Promises in the first chapter; delivers by the last

Life InchesLife Inches by P.D. Platt  5 of 5 stars. ///  Textually silky-smoothe and self-assured, this novella-length story tells the tale of a man who must survive the visitation of a physical and emotional ordeal, with injured limbs and quick thinking the only tools at his disposal.

The prose the author has used so skillfully takes you from Point A to Point Z without a bump. It's suave and cool like our hero is suave and cool. He never panics (like we undoubtedly would) and chooses his moves as carefully as the author chooses his words. The style is a reflection of the principal character. This text is laid back, purposeful, with good forward momentum.e

I am always impressed with flowing prose, especially in a piece like this, where the suspense that is being carefully built up can be sidelined by a few false moves in narration. Here, every word is made to matter. Start with this: "Even though self-preservation overruled his body’s physical limits, he knew it was only temporary. Even the instinct and will to survive can overcome and persevere for only a measured amount of time. Gravity never relents"—see, no extra fat there, right?—which logically flows into this: "He would need to tap into the tiny corner of the brain that is rarely utilized by most people (either for reasons of choice or circumstance) but serves a singular purpose: the will to survive."

Equally well-managed are those small, but essential, moments of reflection carrying the reader outside the central plot for understanding motivation, adding depth to character, but without distracting longeurs. That level of refinement produces this: "In that moment, he realized how much he missed her voice. Her smile. Her."

When an author delivers what he promises with sincerity, artistic integrity, and no compromises (meaning no padding, extraneous detail, or outlandish dialog), they’ve earned their five stars. So, here they are for Mr. Platt, who definitely knows what he’s doing in this medium. I guess I’ll have to read some longer works he’s produced to see what he’s like when he stretches his arms out further.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home