- File Size: 217 KB
- Print Length: 10 pages
- Publication Date: September 24, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FFJ4QR4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,558 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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A Prisoner of His Own Mind Kindle Edition
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The story concerns an unnamed writer working on a detective story. Charitably put, the story is rather cliched, or at least is starts out that way in the paragraph or so we get to read before the story starts going off in a completely new direction. For, instead of reading about the fictional detective, we start hearing the inner workings of ..., well, we're not sure. It could be the author engaging in a strange form of self-critiquing, criticizing himself for using stereotypical conventions in an unoriginal story. Or it could be the detective himself, somehow come to enough life to be able to hijack Platt's narrative.
The story continues for ten loopy pages as the author and character battle for control of the narrative. Platt stacks the deck in favor of the character, since we learn nothing about the author other than his love of stereotypes and cliches and the fact that he's only 16. The character at least has a wicked sense of humor, deftly editing the manuscript to make it far more original, albeit completely nonsensical. Eventually, the two begin collaborating on writing the story, after a fashion, but it's not improving the story. While this collaboration may not have helped Platt's fictional story within a story, it does give him a way to end "Prisoner" with a twist.
While most flash fiction or short short stories are easy reading, "Prisoner" is the type of story that can easily confuse a reader who tries to bulldoze through it. It took me three readings before I finally got the full picture (or at least I think I did). But rather than upsetting me or getting me angry with the author, this deliberately vague and somewhat confusing style increased my enjoyment of the tale. Because, quite frankly, two "voices" battling for control of a story, line by line, is not the type of material that lends itself to a completely clear narrative. For the most part, I enjoyed the challenge of trying to work my way through the story, right up until the twist ending. While the ending was consistent with what happened before, it didn't impress me as much as Platt undoubtedly intended.
"Prisoner" is a gimmick, a story that's ten pages long because it would probably wear out it welcome if Platt continued his narrative any longer. However, at this length, it makes its point well and with a good bit of, if not exactly laugh-out-loud, then at least chuckling humor. Best of all, the story seems to be offered free on Amazon. This is one time that I think "bad" writing, in the sense of Platt's unnamed author's attempt at fiction that keeps getting oh so welcomely interrupted, should definitely be rewarded.